West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) Short Interest Up 24.6% in July

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West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 600,600 shares, an increase of 24.6% from the June 30th total of 481,900 shares. Approximately 0.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 292,900 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.1 days.

WST has been the topic of a number of research reports. Jefferies Financial Group downgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $122.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $158.00 price target on the stock in a report on Saturday, August 3rd. Bank of America upgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 26th. Finally, William Blair initiated coverage on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $112.16 price target on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $130.72.

West Pharmaceutical Services stock opened at $142.35 on Thursday. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $129.94. West Pharmaceutical Services has a twelve month low of $91.75 and a twelve month high of $145.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18, a quick ratio of 2.27 and a current ratio of 3.02. The company has a market cap of $10.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 50.66, a PEG ratio of 4.10 and a beta of 1.30.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.89 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by $0.17. West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 12.94% and a return on equity of 16.93%. The firm had revenue of $469.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $459.90 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.70 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that West Pharmaceutical Services will post 3.07 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 6th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 23rd will be issued a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 22nd. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.42%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.35%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Stephens Inc. AR increased its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 3,306 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $414,000 after buying an additional 96 shares during the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. increased its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. now owns 5,242 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $656,000 after buying an additional 155 shares during the last quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 2.1% during the 1st quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 7,636 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $841,000 after purchasing an additional 160 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 84.5% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 393 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $49,000 after purchasing an additional 180 shares during the period. Finally, GW Henssler & Associates Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 6.8% during the 2nd quarter. GW Henssler & Associates Ltd. now owns 2,900 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $363,000 after purchasing an additional 184 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.76% of the company’s stock.

About West Pharmaceutical Services

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc manufactures and sells containment and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products in the United States, Germany, France, Other European countries, South Korea, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products.

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