Vericel Sees Unusually High Options Volume (VCEL)

Vericel Corp (NASDAQ:VCEL) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Monday. Traders bought 1,291 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 1,917% compared to the average daily volume of 64 call options.

VCEL has been the subject of a number of research reports. Oppenheimer initiated coverage on Vericel in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $23.00 target price for the company. BidaskClub downgraded Vericel from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Needham & Company LLC downgraded Vericel from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $17.92 target price for the company. in a research report on Thursday, February 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Vericel from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 8th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Vericel has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $20.73.

In other news, CFO Gerard J. Michel sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.02, for a total transaction of $200,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 122,249 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,447,424.98. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Gerard J. Michel sold 15,625 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.64, for a total value of $275,625.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 127,047 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,241,109.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 43,125 shares of company stock valued at $781,875 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 4.50% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. United Services Automobile Association raised its holdings in Vericel by 5.6% during the 4th quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 267,464 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $4,654,000 after buying an additional 14,160 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Vericel by 28.7% during the 4th quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,765 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 1,284 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Vericel by 10.8% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,865,843 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $40,551,000 after buying an additional 279,408 shares during the period. Point72 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new stake in Vericel during the 3rd quarter valued at $4,725,000. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new stake in Vericel during the 3rd quarter valued at $239,000. Institutional investors own 83.30% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ:VCEL opened at $17.81 on Wednesday. Vericel has a fifty-two week low of $8.95 and a fifty-two week high of $21.00. The firm has a market cap of $739.90 million, a P/E ratio of -127.21 and a beta of 3.02.

Vericel (NASDAQ:VCEL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 26th. The biotechnology company reported $0.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.05 by $0.06. Vericel had a negative return on equity of 7.58% and a negative net margin of 8.96%. The company had revenue of $31.34 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $28.69 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.01 EPS. Vericel’s quarterly revenue was up 34.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Vericel will post 0.07 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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About Vericel

Vericel Corporation, a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, researches, develops, manufactures, and distributes cellular therapies for sports medicine and severe burn care markets. It markets autologous cell therapy products, including MACI, an autologous cellularized scaffold product for the repair of symptomatic, and single or multiple full-thickness cartilage defects of the knee; and Epicel, a permanent skin replacement humanitarian use device for the treatment of patients with deep-dermal or full-thickness burns.

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