Natera Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRA): The Best-Of-Breed For Investing?

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OrbiMed Advisors LLC recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Natera Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRA). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Healthcare company by 37.14% to 3.35 million shares with purchase of 0.91 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 4.25% valued currently at $166.88 million. In addition, Wells Capital Management, Inc. raised its holdings by 0.92 million to 2.82 million shares. And SSgA Funds Management, Inc. has lifted its position by 1.92% or 47857.0 shares – to 2.54 million shares.

With over 0.87 million Natera Inc. (NTRA) shares trading Wednesday and a closing price of $48.73 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $42.63 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 0.58% and its price on 07/15/20 gained nearly 0.91%. Currently, there are 78.29M common shares owned by the public and among those 74.19M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 6 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for NTRA have a consensus price objective of $54.33. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $66.00 and a low of $42.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Natera Inc. stock is 1.70 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 13.29% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -16.02% over that period. But an upside of 26.17% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $55.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 255 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 125 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 1,475,776 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 130 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 3,632,149 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Natera Inc. are Alger Funds – Small Cap Focus Fun, American Funds Small Cap World Fu, and Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. Alger Funds – Small Cap Focus Fun owns 2.91 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $144.89 million. The company sold -0.21 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 3.69% of the shares outstanding. American Funds Small Cap World Fu sold -2.67 million shares to see its total holdings shrink to 2.1 million shares valued at over $104.49 million and representing 2.66% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 10975.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 2.01 million shares at a value of $100.43 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index now owns shares totaling to 2.56% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Natera Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRA) opened at $48.79, up $0.5 from a prior closing price of $48.29. However, the script later closed the day at $48.73, up 0.91%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 0.58% and 51.67% over the past three months. NTRA shares are trading 44.64% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 92.00% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $16.87 and touched a high of $50.57 over the same period. Currently, 0.87 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 853.44K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 3.51%, 9.12%, and 30.73% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Natera Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRA) shares accounts for 96.80% of the company’s 78.29M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 38.38%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 53.30% and 22.76% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $4.02B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.36. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$1.72. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 6.09% over the week and 5.21% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Natera Inc. (NTRA) will achieve an EPS of -$0.58 for the current quarter, -$0.55 for the next quarter and -$1.88 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.73 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of -$0.46. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was -$0.48 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 19.00%, and 12.10% over the next financial year.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 6 brokerage firm advisors rate Natera Inc. (NTRA) as a “Strong Buy” at a consensus score of 1.70. Specifically, 5 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 0 of the 6 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the NTRA, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Piper Sandler stated their Overweight rating for the stock in a research note on June 10, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $56-$63. JP Morgan coverage for the Natera Inc. (NTRA) stock in a research note released on May 07, 2020 offered a Overweight rating with a price target of $45. JP Morgan was of a view on October 05, 2018 that the stock is Neutral, while Piper Jaffray gave the stock Overweight rating on July 05, 2018, issuing a price target of $18- $21. Morgan Stanley on their part issued Overweight rating on August 07, 2017.

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