Are Smart Investors Making the Right Decision? Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (ESPR)

Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ESPR) stock fell -2.05% on Monday to $6.69 against a previous-day closing price of $6.83. With 1.05 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 1.93 million shares. During the session, the Biotechnology company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $7.14 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $6.66. The 52-week range on ESPR shows that it touched its highest point at $8.87 and its lowest point at $3.28 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $11.60. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.21.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of ESPR was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -6.69%, but this was up by 7.21% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -18.51% while six-month performance rose 7.73%. The stock gained 77.45% in the past year, while it has gained 7.38% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for ESPR yields -4.56 with Next year EPS estimates of -2.53. For the next quarter, that number is -0.84. This implies an EPS growth rate of -78.20% for this year and 30.30% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 16.90% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of -22.90%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 73.68 million ESPR shares are outstanding with a float of 73.11 million shares on hand for trading. On Oct 13, 2022, short shares totaled 13.33 million, which was 20.03% higher than short shares on Sep 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Sheldon L. Koenig as the firm’s Pres, CEO & Director, Dr. JoAnne Micale Foody FACC, M.D. serves as its Chief Medical Officer.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 87.14% of ESPR’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 57.31% of ESPR, in contrast to 30.19% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 21.16%. As the largest shareholder in ESPR with 10.13% of the stake, Wasatch Advisors, Inc. holds 7,463,016 shares worth 7,463,016. A second-largest stockholder of ESPR, Deep Track Capital LP, holds 5,636,587 shares, controlling over 7.65% of the firm’s shares. Meditor Capital Management Ltd. is the third largest shareholder in ESPR, holding 4,468,835 shares or 6.07% stake. With a 5.69% stake in ESPR, the BB Biotech AG is the largest stakeholder. A total of 4,194,064 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 3.01% of ESPR stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 2,216,547 shares valued at 13.81 million. Wasatch Ultra Growth Fund holds 2.36% of the stake in ESPR, owning 1,741,280 shares worth 10.85 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for ESPR since 11 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 5 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 3 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 3 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 0 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With ESPR analysts setting a high price target of $22.00 and a low target of $3.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $11.00. Based on these targets, ESPR could surge 228.85% to reach the target high and fall by -55.16% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 64.42% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. ESPR will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/20/2024. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of -$3.51 being high and -$3.75 being low. For ESPR, this leads to a yearly average estimate of -$3.63. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Esperion Therapeutics Inc. surprised analysts by $0.12 when it reported -$0.81 EPS against a consensus estimate of -$0.93. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was -$0.12. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is -$0.72 and the low estimate is -$0.96. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus -$0.85.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded ESPR stock several times over the past three months with 1 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 44,000 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 9 while that of sell transactions has risen to 11 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 323,406 while 14,804 shares were sold.

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