Traders Buy Shares of Express Scripts (ESRX) on Weakness

Investors purchased shares of Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) on weakness during trading hours on Tuesday. $113.71 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $41.79 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $71.92 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Express Scripts had the 25th highest net in-flow for the day. Express Scripts traded down ($0.46) for the day and closed at $80.41

A number of analysts recently weighed in on ESRX shares. Robert W. Baird upped their target price on shares of Express Scripts from $57.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Express Scripts from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $66.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. UBS Group cut shares of Express Scripts from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Finally, Raymond James Financial reissued an “underperform” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $77.09.

The stock has a market capitalization of $45,542.05, a PE ratio of 13.31, a P/E/G ratio of 0.89 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86.

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.90. Express Scripts had a net margin of 3.64% and a return on equity of 25.46%. The company had revenue of $24.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $25.68 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.74 earnings per share. Express Scripts’s quarterly revenue was down 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Express Scripts Holding will post 7.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Express Scripts declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, December 18th that authorizes the company to buyback 45,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CEO Timothy C. Wentworth bought 8,000 shares of Express Scripts stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were bought at an average cost of $61.13 per share, for a total transaction of $489,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 98,628 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,029,129.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Phyllis S. Anderson sold 643 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.37, for a total transaction of $40,103.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 17,644 shares of company stock worth $1,289,609 over the last quarter. 0.68% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. acquired a new position in Express Scripts in the third quarter valued at approximately $120,000. Monroe Bank & Trust MI lifted its holdings in Express Scripts by 74.8% in the third quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,266 shares of the company’s stock valued at $156,000 after buying an additional 970 shares during the period. Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. lifted its holdings in Express Scripts by 49.3% in the second quarter. Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. now owns 2,797 shares of the company’s stock valued at $179,000 after buying an additional 924 shares during the period. Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Express Scripts in the third quarter valued at approximately $193,000. Finally, Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in Express Scripts in the third quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.21% of the company’s stock.

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Express Scripts Company Profile

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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