Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA) from a sell rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $24.00 price objective on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Natera, Inc. offers genetic testing and diagnostics with proprietary bioinformatics and molecular technology. Natera, Inc. is headquartered in San Carlos, California. “

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on NTRA. BidaskClub downgraded Natera from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 16th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and issued a $27.00 target price on shares of Natera in a research note on Sunday, April 21st. Finally, ValuEngine raised Natera from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Natera presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $28.13.

Shares of Natera stock traded down $0.40 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $22.75. 12,752 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 678,884. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 20.88, a current ratio of 1.85 and a quick ratio of 1.99. The company has a market capitalization of $1.47 billion, a PE ratio of -10.80 and a beta of 1.80. Natera has a 52 week low of $11.08 and a 52 week high of $29.62.

Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 9th. The medical research company reported ($0.54) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.59) by $0.05. Natera had a negative return on equity of 699.31% and a negative net margin of 49.33%. The firm had revenue of $66.82 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $66.40 million. Equities analysts anticipate that Natera will post -2.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO Steven Leonard Chapman sold 3,410 shares of Natera stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.00, for a total transaction of $54,560.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 10,299 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $164,784. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jonathan Sheena sold 2,620 shares of Natera stock in a transaction on Friday, March 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.50, for a total value of $53,710.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 240,390 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,927,995. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 351,313 shares of company stock valued at $7,132,873. 9.29% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NTRA. Legal & General Group Plc raised its holdings in Natera by 14.5% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,826 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $81,000 after acquiring an additional 736 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its holdings in Natera by 136.8% during the fourth quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 5,920 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $80,000 after acquiring an additional 3,420 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its holdings in Natera by 827.1% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,899 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $163,000 after acquiring an additional 7,047 shares in the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB bought a new stake in Natera during the first quarter worth about $200,000. Finally, SEI Investments Co raised its holdings in Natera by 6,335.3% during the first quarter. SEI Investments Co now owns 10,039 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $207,000 after acquiring an additional 9,883 shares in the last quarter. 87.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Natera Company Profile

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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