Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CNAT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday. The brokerage currently has $2.00 price objective on the biotechnology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Conatus’ third-quarter results were encouraging with the company reporting a narrower-than-expected loss. The company’s progress with its lead candidate, emricasan, has been encouraging. Emricasan is in phase II development for the treatment of chronic liver disease, including NASH fibrosis under the ENCORE program. Conatus also plans to initiate studies on emricasan targeting different types of NASH patient populations. Given that there are currently no approved therapies for NASH and the significant market opportunity, the company’s efforts to develop emricasan are promising. Moreover, the company’s plans to evaluate partnership opportunities for emricasan outside North America could be rewarding, if successful. However, emricasan is still several years away from entering the market, if at all. Any development/regulatory setback could hamper the company’s prospects and impact the stock adversely.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on CNAT. Brean Capital set a $7.00 price objective on Conatus Pharmaceuticals and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. FBR & Co restated an outperform rating and set a $16.00 price objective on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Tuesday, August 30th. Stifel Nicolaus cut their price objective on Conatus Pharmaceuticals from $6.00 to $5.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. Finally, JMP Securities restated a buy rating on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $9.00.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT) opened at 1.81 on Friday. Conatus Pharmaceuticals has a 52-week low of $1.40 and a 52-week high of $4.05. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $1.86 and its 200-day moving average price is $2.02. The company’s market cap is $45.56 million.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 8th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.31) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.34) by $0.03. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted ($0.31) EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Conatus Pharmaceuticals will post ($1.28) EPS for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CNAT. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 2.0% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 86,296 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $178,000 after buying an additional 1,668 shares in the last quarter. AXA raised its position in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 1.4% in the second quarter. AXA now owns 1,085,775 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,237,000 after buying an additional 14,939 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 3.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 448,938 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $925,000 after buying an additional 15,300 shares in the last quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. raised its position in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 94.5% in the third quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 87,788 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $175,000 after buying an additional 42,649 shares in the last quarter. Finally, KCG Holdings Inc. bought a new position in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the third quarter valued at approximately $135,000. Institutional investors own 15.97% of the company’s stock.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines to treat liver disease. The Company operates through commercialization and development of pharmaceutical products segment. The Company is engaged in developing emricasan, which is an orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor for the treatment of patients with chronic liver disease.

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