West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Saturday morning. The firm currently has $108.00 price target on the medical instruments supplier’s stock.

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. “

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on WST. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $82.00 target price on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Tuesday, February 21st. BidaskClub downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. West Pharmaceutical Services currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $90.18.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE WST) opened at 95.97 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $7.06 billion, a PE ratio of 39.72 and a beta of 1.11. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52 week low of $70.17 and a 52 week high of $99.91. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $96.29 and a 200-day moving average of $86.55.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.26. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 14.89% and a net margin of 11.88%. The company had revenue of $387.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $380.42 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.53 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that West Pharmaceutical Services will post $2.73 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, July 19th will be paid a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 17th. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.40%.

In related news, VP Daniel Malone sold 4,124 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.31, for a total value of $384,810.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO William J. Federici sold 54,996 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.45, for a total value of $5,249,368.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Burt Wealth Advisors increased its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 38,540.0% in the first quarter. Burt Wealth Advisors now owns 1,932 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 1,927 shares during the period. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. bought a new position in West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter worth approximately $164,000. Tyers Asset Management LLC bought a new position in West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter worth approximately $178,000. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new position in West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter worth approximately $186,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 1.6% in the first quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 2,569 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $210,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. 91.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc is a manufacturer of packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products. The Company’s products include vial containment solutions, prefillable systems, self-injection platforms, cartridge systems and components, reconstitution and transfer systems, intradermal delivery solutions, specialty components, and contract manufacturing and analytical services.

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