On July 18, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:$VRTX) shares skyrocketed in an after hours trading session. This added about $8 billion to the Boston-based company’s value. What caused the increase? Shares of the company soared after it disclosed positive results from clinical studies of its cystic fibrosis (CF) treatments, and according to one analyst, increased the company’s probability of becoming a buyout target.
In the after hours trading session, Vertex shares increased 24% to $163.35, following a 3% gain during the regular trading session to close at $132.16. According to FactSet, if that after hours gain holds in Wednesday’s trading session, it will go down as the largest one-day percentage gain for the company since June 27, 2014.
Back in July of 2015 – July 31 to be exact – the company reached its highest closing price for the stock ($135 a share). Now, a finish on Wednesday at after-hours levels would illustrate an all-time closing high for shares. On August 31, 2015, the highest intraday price for Vertex shares was set at $143.45.
At the close of Tuesday’s trading, the company’s market capitalization was valued at $32.9 billion, which means, as previously mentioned, that the after-hours move increased the company’s value by $8 billion.
Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges has an outperform rating on Vertex Pharmaceuticals and had a price target of $132 a share. “This disclosure confirms our bullish view, and also reinforces our views of the desirability and uniqueness of Vertex as an acquisition target for larger companies (some of them West Coast based,” said Porges.
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