Natera (NTRA) Trading Down 18.6% Following Weak Earnings

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Natera Inc (NASDAQ:NTRA) traded down 18.6% during mid-day trading on Friday after the company announced weaker than expected quarterly earnings. The stock traded as low as $13.70 and last traded at $16.80. 4,391,474 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 892% from the average session volume of 442,764 shares. The stock had previously closed at $20.63.

The medical research company reported ($0.49) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.46) by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $65.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $66.42 million. Natera had a negative net margin of 59.07% and a negative return on equity of 752.93%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned ($0.51) earnings per share.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the company. Cowen restated a “buy” rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Natera in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Natera from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a report on Saturday, October 13th. TheStreet lowered Natera from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on Natera in a report on Friday, October 5th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $26.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Natera from $21.00 to $41.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Natera presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $28.25.

In related news, insider Jonathan Sheena sold 166,667 shares of Natera stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.27, for a total value of $4,045,008.09. Following the sale, the insider now owns 481,975 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,697,533.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, COO Steven Leonard Chapman sold 35,000 shares of Natera stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.66, for a total value of $723,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 24,240 shares in the company, valued at approximately $500,798.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 2,014,988 shares of company stock worth $48,674,710. Corporate insiders own 13.18% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NTRA. FMR LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Natera in the third quarter valued at about $59,599,000. Fred Alger Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Natera in the second quarter valued at about $33,271,000. Jennison Associates LLC increased its position in shares of Natera by 39.1% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 3,641,848 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $87,186,000 after acquiring an additional 1,024,225 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Natera by 33.5% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,785,208 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $66,679,000 after acquiring an additional 698,379 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Harvard Management Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Natera in the third quarter valued at about $15,297,000. 67.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The stock has a market cap of $1.29 billion, a PE ratio of -7.00 and a beta of 2.11.

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About Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA)

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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