Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ESRX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday. They currently have $78.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Express Scripts stands to benefit from increased generic utilization, shift toward mail orders, strong specialty growth and an aging population. It is focused on the development of both specialty drugs and generics, which are expected to account for 50% of the total drug spend by 2018. The company’s SafeGuardRx suite of products is designed to better manage specialty spend, establishing a higher standard for patient outcomes. Demand for the company’s services continues to be solid, leading to an increase in expected client retention rates to the 96–98% band in 2017. Growth in the second half of 2016 should primarily be driven by higher utilization of the company’s cost savings programs along with generic launches. Estimates have remained mostly stable ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”
A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Express Scripts Holding from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and increased their price target for the company from $67.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Monday, June 20th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated an outperform rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a report on Monday, October 3rd. Cowen and Company restated a positive rating and set a $83.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Bank of America Corp. restated a neutral rating and set a $82.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a report on Tuesday, June 7th. Finally, Leerink Swann restated a market perform rating and set a $80.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a report on Thursday, September 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Express Scripts Holding currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $81.53.
Shares of Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) opened at 70.06 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $71.75 and a 200-day moving average of $73.70. Express Scripts Holding has a 52 week low of $65.55 and a 52 week high of $89.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $44.15 billion, a PE ratio of 17.31 and a beta of 1.16.
Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 25th. The company reported $1.57 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.57. The business had revenue of $25.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.42 billion. Express Scripts Holding had a net margin of 2.64% and a return on equity of 23.98%. Express Scripts Holding’s revenue for the quarter was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.44 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Express Scripts Holding will post $6.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, Director Woodrow A. Myers, Jr. sold 12,036 shares of Express Scripts Holding stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.40, for a total transaction of $847,334.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 14,918 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,050,227.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Christopher A. Mcginnis sold 1,785 shares of Express Scripts Holding stock in a transaction on Monday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.77, for a total value of $126,324.45. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 4,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $350,665.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.54% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Virginia Retirement System purchased a new stake in Express Scripts Holding during the first quarter worth $1,420,000. Cortland Associates Inc. MO increased its stake in Express Scripts Holding by 22.4% in the first quarter. Cortland Associates Inc. MO now owns 753,349 shares of the company’s stock worth $51,748,000 after buying an additional 137,915 shares in the last quarter. Hyman Charles D purchased a new stake in Express Scripts Holding during the first quarter worth $5,889,000. Middleton & Co Inc MA increased its stake in Express Scripts Holding by 0.3% in the first quarter. Middleton & Co Inc MA now owns 105,178 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,225,000 after buying an additional 303 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Torray LLC increased its stake in Express Scripts Holding by 57.1% in the first quarter. Torray LLC now owns 860,378 shares of the company’s stock worth $59,099,000 after buying an additional 312,775 shares in the last quarter. 88.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
About Express Scripts Holding
Express Scripts, Inc is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company in North America, offering a range of services to its clients, which include health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, workers’ compensation plans and government health programs. It operates in two segments: PBM and Emerging Markets (EM).
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