Vital Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ:VTL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Vital Therapies, Inc. is a biotherapeutic company. It is focused on developing a cell-based therapy targeting the treatment of acute liver failure. The Company operates in the United States, Europe, and China. Vital Therapies, Inc. is based in San Diego, California. “

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on VTL. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Vital Therapies from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Vital Therapies from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, October 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $8.00.

Shares of Vital Therapies (NASDAQ VTL) traded up 2.61% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $5.90. The company had a trading volume of 9,478 shares. The firm’s market capitalization is $249.02 million. Vital Therapies has a 1-year low of $2.25 and a 1-year high of $6.50. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $5.19 and a 200 day moving average price of $3.62.

Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported ($0.30) EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.32) by $0.02. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.32) earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Vital Therapies will post ($1.27) EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Vital Therapies news, Director Jean Jacques Bienaime bought 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 13th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $4.00 per share, for a total transaction of $40,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 65,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $260,476. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Muneer A. Satter bought 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $3.53 per share, for a total transaction of $176,500.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 190,000 shares of company stock worth $737,800 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 32.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Vital Therapies by 102.9% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,957,878 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,832,000 after buying an additional 1,500,000 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Vital Therapies by 0.9% during the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,603,089 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,145,000 after purchasing an additional 23,810 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. grew its holdings in Vital Therapies by 261.4% during the 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 233,250 shares of the company’s stock valued at $676,000 after purchasing an additional 168,705 shares during the last quarter. LMR Partners LLP bought a new position in Vital Therapies during the 2nd quarter valued at about $396,000. Finally, Blair William & Co. IL grew its holdings in Vital Therapies by 67.2% during the 2nd quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 99,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $289,000 after purchasing an additional 40,000 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 25.58% of the company’s stock.

Vital Therapies Company Profile

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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