Vertex Pharmaceuticals Stock Sell Recommendation Reiterated (VRTX)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a sell with a ratings score of D . The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.50 versus $0.04 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 104.0% in earnings (-$1.02 versus -$0.50).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Biotechnology industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 148.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $158.63 million to -$76.15 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Biotechnology industry and the overall market, VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 5.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 40.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • VRTX's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for the treatment of serious diseases worldwide. Vertex has a market cap of $10.18 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 12.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Vertex Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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