Natera Inc (NASDAQ:NTRA)’s share price shot up 22.3% on Friday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock traded as high as $21.87 and last traded at $21.70. 1,280,172 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 91% from the average session volume of 671,589 shares. The stock had previously closed at $17.75.

The medical research company reported ($0.54) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.59) by $0.05. Natera had a negative return on equity of 790.13% and a negative net margin of 49.72%. The firm had revenue of $66.82 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $66.40 million.

Several research firms recently commented on NTRA. BidaskClub downgraded Natera from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 16th. Zacks Investment Research raised Natera from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, April 20th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $27.00 target price on shares of Natera in a research note on Sunday, April 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Natera presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $28.00.

In other Natera news, COO Steven Leonard Chapman sold 3,410 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.00, for a total value of $54,560.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 10,299 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $164,784. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CTO Jonathan Sheena sold 3,043 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.00, for a total value of $48,688.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief technology officer now directly owns 240,201 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,843,216. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 351,313 shares of company stock valued at $7,132,873 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 9.29% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can grew its holdings in shares of Natera by 136.8% during the 4th quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 5,920 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $80,000 after purchasing an additional 3,420 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in shares of Natera by 14.5% during the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,826 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $81,000 after purchasing an additional 736 shares during the period. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Natera by 6.7% during the 4th quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 11,485 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $160,000 after purchasing an additional 717 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in shares of Natera by 827.1% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,899 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $163,000 after purchasing an additional 7,047 shares during the period. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its holdings in shares of Natera by 431.9% during the 4th quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 11,867 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $166,000 after purchasing an additional 9,636 shares during the period. 87.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The firm has a market capitalization of $1.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -10.09 and a beta of 1.80. The company has a quick ratio of 1.99, a current ratio of 2.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.28.

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About Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA)

Natera, Inc, a diagnostics company, provides preconception and prenatal genetic testing services. It primarily offers Panorama, a non-invasive prenatal test that screens for chromosomal abnormalities of a fetus with a blood draw from the mother; Vistara, a single-gene mutations screening test to identify single-gene disorder; Horizon carrier screening to determine carrier status for various genetic diseases that could be passed on to the carrier's children; and Spectrum pre-implantation genetic screening and Spectrum pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to analyze chromosomal anomalies or inherited genetic conditions during an in vitro fertilization cycle.

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