West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday.

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. “

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 price objective on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Thursday, June 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. West Pharmaceutical Services presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $90.18.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE WST) opened at 96.56 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.10 billion, a PE ratio of 39.97 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 firm has a 50-day moving average of $96.51 and a 200-day moving average of $86.87.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 27th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.26. West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 11.88% and a return on equity of 14.89%. The company had revenue of $387.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $380.42 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.53 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that West Pharmaceutical Services will post $2.73 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, July 17th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.54%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s payout ratio is 21.40%.

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In other news, VP Daniel Malone sold 4,124 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.31, for a total transaction of $384,810.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO William J. Federici sold 54,996 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $95.45, for a total transaction of $5,249,368.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Burt Wealth Advisors raised its stake in shares of 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 valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 1,927 shares during the period. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter valued at $164,000. Tyers Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter valued at $178,000. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter valued at $186,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of 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 valued at $210,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.59% of the company’s stock.

About West Pharmaceutical Services

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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