Natera (NTRA) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Natera, Inc. offers genetic testing and diagnostics with proprietary bioinformatics and molecular technology. Natera, Inc. is headquartered in San Carlos, California. “

NTRA has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $25.00 target price on shares of Natera in a research note on Monday, March 11th. BidaskClub upgraded Natera from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Natera from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $28.00.

NTRA opened at $18.54 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.17 billion, a PE ratio of -8.62 and a beta of 1.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.28, a current ratio of 2.11 and a quick ratio of 1.99. Natera has a 52 week low of $10.77 and a 52 week high of $29.62.

Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, March 12th. The medical research company reported ($0.51) EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.51). The company had revenue of $67.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $62.87 million. Natera had a negative return on equity of 790.13% and a negative net margin of 49.72%. As a group, research analysts expect that Natera will post -2.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Jonathan Sheena sold 23,356 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.51, for a total transaction of $479,031.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 294,758 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,045,486.58. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Matthew Rabinowitz sold 5,672 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.00, for a total value of $90,752.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,288,853 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $20,621,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 351,313 shares of company stock valued at $7,132,873. 13.18% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NTRA. First Manhattan Co. lifted its position in shares of Natera by 98.8% in the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 1,027,242 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $21,181,000 after acquiring an additional 510,509 shares in the last quarter. Capital Impact Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Natera by 25.5% in the fourth quarter. Capital Impact Advisors LLC now owns 102,617 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,338,000 after buying an additional 20,834 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Natera by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 463,029 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $6,463,000 after buying an additional 26,771 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of Natera by 57.0% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,908,921 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $54,568,000 after buying an additional 1,419,390 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Natera by 5.5% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,095,447 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $29,252,000 after buying an additional 109,869 shares in the last quarter. 87.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Natera

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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