Shares of Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) have earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-four research firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have given a hold recommendation, nine have assigned a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $79.46.
A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the company. Mizuho set a $86.00 price target on Express Scripts and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Express Scripts in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded Express Scripts from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 31st. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered Express Scripts from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $55.80 to $77.50 in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Express Scripts from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd.
Shares of Express Scripts (NASDAQ ESRX) traded up $1.16 on Wednesday, hitting $75.23. The stock had a trading volume of 3,136,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,332,997. Express Scripts has a fifty-two week low of $55.80 and a fifty-two week high of $83.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a current ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market cap of $42,610.00, a PE ratio of 12.50, a PEG ratio of 0.81 and a beta of 0.93.
Express Scripts declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Monday, December 18th that authorizes the company to repurchase 45,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, VP Glen D. Stettin sold 3,449 shares of Express Scripts stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.00, for a total transaction of $279,369.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 33,715 shares in the company, valued at $2,730,915. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Glen D. Stettin sold 3,448 shares of Express Scripts stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.00, for a total value of $262,048.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 17,001 shares of company stock valued at $1,249,505 in the last 90 days. 0.68% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Swedbank acquired a new position in Express Scripts during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $111,016,000. ValueAct Holdings L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Express Scripts during the fourth quarter worth $89,568,000. Two Sigma Advisers LP grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 143.4% during the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 1,782,736 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,063,000 after buying an additional 1,050,400 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 23.5% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 5,233,327 shares of the company’s stock worth $331,374,000 after buying an additional 996,816 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 31.9% during the fourth quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 3,450,844 shares of the company’s stock worth $257,571,000 after buying an additional 835,464 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.45% 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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