Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CNAT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Conatus presently has no approved product in its portfolio. The company’s lead candidate emricasan is in phase II development for treatment of chronic liver disease, including NASH fibrosis. We are positive on the company’s plans to initiate studies on emricasan, targeting different types of NASH patient populations as the market holds huge untapped potential. Though Conatus is progressing well with emricasan, it is still several years away from entering the market. Any development/regulatory setback on emricasan could hamper Conatus’ prospects. Notably, several companies are working on developing treatments for NASH which might make the market competitive for emricasan. The stock has underperformed the industry so far this year.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. HC Wainwright restated a buy rating and issued a $18.00 target price on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $10.00 price target on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $16.17.

Shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT) traded up 4.174% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $5.865. 454,913 shares of the company were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $5.52 and its 200 day moving average price is $5.81. The stock’s market capitalization is $175.97 million. Conatus Pharmaceuticals has a 52-week low of $1.45 and a 52-week high of $9.40.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The biotechnology company reported ($0.19) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.17) by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $10.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.33 million. During the same period last year, the business posted ($0.30) EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Conatus Pharmaceuticals will post ($0.45) earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. California State Teachers Retirement System acquired a new stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at approximately $261,000. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership acquired a new stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at approximately $407,000. State Street Corp acquired a new stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at approximately $2,092,000. DAFNA Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at approximately $288,000. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 323.0% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 62,977 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $363,000 after purchasing an additional 48,090 shares during the last quarter. 33.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Conatus Pharmaceuticals

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines to treat liver disease. The Company operates through commercialization and development of pharmaceutical products segment. The Company is engaged in developing emricasan, which is an orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor for the treatment of patients with chronic liver disease.

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