West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “West Pharmaceutical Services applies technologies to the process of bringing new drug therapies and healthcare products. West’s technologies include the design and manufacture of packaging components for pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products; research and development of drug delivery systems; contract manufacturing and packaging services; clinical services; and contract laboratory services and other services that support the manufacturing, filling and packaging of pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products. “
Several other analysts also recently issued reports on WST. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 price target on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 21st. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott restated a “fair value” rating and set a $72.55 target price (down previously from $90.00) on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research note on Monday.
West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) opened at 73.74 on Wednesday. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52-week low of $52.79 and a 52-week high of $84.33. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $80.04 and its 200-day moving average price is $75.17. The firm has a market cap of $5.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 53.71 and a beta of 0.87.
West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.03. The company earned $388 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $384.58 million. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 14.40% and a net margin of 6.99%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.47 EPS. Analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services will post $2.22 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This is an increase from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.71%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.04%.
In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, Director Paula A. Johnson sold 3,042 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,135,597.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Karen Flynn sold 14,581 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The shares were 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 directly 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 company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $120,000. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd bought a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter worth about $151,000. Seven Eight Capital LLC boosted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 5,481.4% in the second quarter. Seven Eight Capital LLC now owns 2,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $182,000 after buying an additional 2,357 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter worth about $205,000. Finally, Checchi Capital Advisers LLC boosted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 41,428.6% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 2,907 shares of the company’s stock worth $221,000 after buying an additional 2,900 shares during the last quarter. 90.24% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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