Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) have been given a consensus broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the four analysts that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. West Pharmaceutical Services’ rating score has declined by 33.3% in the last 90 days as a result of a number of analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.
Brokerages have set a 1-year consensus target price of $85.00 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.53 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given West Pharmaceutical Services an industry rank of 77 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.
Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $91.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Wells Fargo & Co. lowered West Pharmaceutical Services from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “fair value” rating and issued a $72.55 price objective (down previously from $90.00) on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Monday.
In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, Director Paula A. Johnson sold 3,042 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total value of $248,075.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 38,450 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,135,597.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Karen Flynn sold 14,581 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.28, for a total value of $1,214,305.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 13,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,125,362.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.13% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $35,278,000. Sigma Planning Corp bought a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $264,000. Aperio Group LLC increased its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 7.9% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 25,508 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,768,000 after buying an additional 1,873 shares in the last quarter. Virginia Retirement System bought a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $326,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.7% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 104,680 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,256,000 after buying an additional 744 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.24% of the company’s stock.
West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) opened at 73.51 on Friday. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52 week low of $52.79 and a 52 week high of $84.33. The firm has a market cap of $5.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 53.54 and a beta of 0.87. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $80.45 and its 200 day moving average price is $75.18.
West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.03. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 14.40% and a net margin of 6.99%. The firm earned $388 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $384.58 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.47 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that West Pharmaceutical Services will post $2.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 19th will be issued a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.71%. This is a positive change from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 35.04%.
About West Pharmaceutical Services
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc (West) is a manufacturer of components and systems for the packaging and delivery of injectable drugs, as well as delivery system components for the pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products industries. The Company’s segments include Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems segment (Packaging Systems) and the Pharmaceutical Delivery Systems segment (Delivery Systems).
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