Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado cut its position in West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) by 44.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 170,986 shares of the company’s stock after selling 134,752 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado’s holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services were worth $12,974,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in WST. Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 7.9% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 25,508 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,768,000 after buying an additional 1,873 shares during the last quarter. Virginia Retirement System acquired a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter worth $326,000. Teachers Advisors Inc. raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.7% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 104,680 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,256,000 after buying an additional 744 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 69.3% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 242,874 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,836,000 after buying an additional 99,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 1.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 45,038 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,122,000 after buying an additional 511 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.24% of the company’s stock.
Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) traded down 0.74% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $73.40. 146,579 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 53.46 and a beta of 0.86. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $78.34 and a 200-day moving average price of $75.77. West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. has a 12 month low of $53.88 and a 12 month high of $84.33.
West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by $0.03. West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 6.99% and a return on equity of 14.40%. The company earned $388 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $384.58 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.47 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will post $2.22 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 19th will be given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.70%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 17th. This is an increase from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. West Pharmaceutical Services’s payout ratio is currently 35.04%.
A number of analysts have recently weighed in on WST shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Jefferies Group increased their price objective on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from $67.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “fair value” rating and set a $72.55 price target (down from $90.00) on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Monday, September 26th.
In other news, Director Paula A. Johnson sold 3,042 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total transaction of $248,075.10. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 38,450 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,135,597.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Karen Flynn sold 14,581 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.28, for a total transaction of $1,214,305.68. Following the sale, 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. Insiders own 5.13% of the company’s stock.
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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