Vital Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ:VTL) was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Vital Therapies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $8.00.

Shares of Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) traded up 5.22% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $6.05. The stock had a trading volume of 127,883 shares. The firm’s market cap is $255.35 million. Vital Therapies has a 52-week low of $2.25 and a 52-week high of $6.58. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $3.90 and its 200-day moving average price is $3.41.

Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported ($0.29) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.30) by $0.01. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned ($0.30) EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Vital Therapies will post ($1.31) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Muneer A. Satter bought 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 8th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $3.53 per share, for a total transaction of $176,500.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Jean Jacques Bienaime bought 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 13th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $4.00 per share, with a total value of $40,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 65,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $260,476. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders acquired 190,000 shares of company stock valued at $737,800. 32.60% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VTL. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in Vital Therapies in the first quarter valued at approximately $167,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its stake in Vital Therapies by 1.8% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 64,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $258,000 after acquiring an additional 1,157 shares in the last quarter. Susquehanna International Group LLP acquired a new stake in Vital Therapies in the second quarter valued at approximately $268,000. Blair William & Co. IL boosted its stake in Vital Therapies by 67.2% in the second quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 99,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $289,000 after acquiring an additional 40,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Vital Therapies by 11.5% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 88,104 shares of the company’s stock valued at $352,000 after acquiring an additional 9,120 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 25.58% of the company’s stock.

About Vital Therapies

Vital Therapies, Inc is a biotherapeutic company. The Company is focused on developing a human hepatic cell-based treatment targeting acute forms of liver failure. Its product candidate, the ELAD System, is an extracorporeal human allogeneic cellular liver therapy designed to allow the patient’s liver to regenerate to a healthy state, or to stabilize the patient until transplant.

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