PRA Health Sciences, Inc. (PRAH) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of PRA Health Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRAH) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “PRA Health Sciences, Inc. operates as a global contract research organizations providing outsourced clinical development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. It offers therapeutic services in the areas of cardio-metabolic, biosimilars, infectious diseases, immunology, neurology and psychiatry, oncology and hematology, rare diseases, and respiratory needs. The Company engages in bioanalytical laboratory, clinical pharmacology, clinical development, strategic solutions, post marketing research, clinical informatics, clinical diagnostics, and safety and risk management activities. PRA Health Sciences, Inc. is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. “

Several other brokerages have also commented on PRAH. BidaskClub lowered shares of PRA Health Sciences from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $90.00 price objective (up from $73.00) on shares of PRA Health Sciences in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on shares of PRA Health Sciences from $80.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. initiated coverage on shares of PRA Health Sciences in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. They issued an outperform rating and a $89.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $92.00 price objective (up from $88.00) on shares of PRA Health Sciences in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $84.50.

Shares of PRA Health Sciences (PRAH) opened at 74.94 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $4.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 48.38 and a beta of 0.45. PRA Health Sciences has a 52 week low of $50.87 and a 52 week high of $80.99. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $75.69 and a 200-day moving average of $70.48.

PRA Health Sciences (NASDAQ:PRAH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 7th. The medical research company reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by ($0.10). The firm had revenue of $457.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $447.79 million. PRA Health Sciences had a net margin of 5.15% and a return on equity of 21.17%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that PRA Health Sciences will post $3.19 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, CEO Colin Shannon sold 400,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.85, for a total value of $29,940,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Pra Investors L.P. Kkr sold 9,500,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.85, for a total transaction of $711,075,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 10,000,000 shares of company stock worth $748,500,000. 2.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of PRAH. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its holdings in PRA Health Sciences by 4.1% in the 1st quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 44,121 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $2,878,000 after buying an additional 1,723 shares during the period. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its holdings in PRA Health Sciences by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 21,892 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,428,000 after buying an additional 140 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. acquired a new position in PRA Health Sciences in the 1st quarter worth approximately $7,356,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in PRA Health Sciences by 6.9% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 218,490 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $14,253,000 after buying an additional 14,059 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its holdings in PRA Health Sciences by 1.9% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 65,758 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $4,289,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 98.37% of the company’s stock.

About PRA Health Sciences

PRA Health Sciences, Inc is a contract research organization. The Company provides outsourced clinical development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The Company offers therapeutic services in areas of pharmaceutical development, including oncology, central nervous system, inflammation and infectious diseases.

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