West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) has been assigned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the eight ratings firms that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, two have given a hold recommendation and two have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $104.20.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on WST shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, May 5th. Bank of America downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $85.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. ValuEngine downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, April 7th. Finally, Goldman Sachs started coverage on West Pharmaceutical Services in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $110.00 price target for the company.

In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, CFO William J. Federici sold 52,000 shares of West Pharmaceutical Services stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.14, for a total transaction of $4,531,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 247,019 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,525,235.66. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Deutsche Bank AG boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 4.7% in the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 209,854 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $20,702,000 after buying an additional 9,437 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 10.8% in the 4th quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 813,918 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $80,309,000 after buying an additional 79,454 shares during the last quarter. ING Groep NV purchased a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in the 4th quarter worth approximately $249,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,230,224 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $614,734,000 after buying an additional 341,999 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amalgamated Bank boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 5.5% in the 4th quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 15,408 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $1,520,000 after buying an additional 803 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.70% of the company’s stock.

Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services opened at $89.20 on Wednesday, Marketbeat reports. West Pharmaceutical Services has a one year low of $88.90 and a one year high of $90.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.09, a PEG ratio of 2.92 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15, a current ratio of 2.82 and a quick ratio of 2.00.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.64 by ($0.02). West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 8.20% and a return on equity of 14.40%. The firm had revenue of $415.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $403.87 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.60 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that West Pharmaceutical Services will post 2.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 17th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.63%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 20.14%.

West Pharmaceutical Services declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 15th that authorizes the company to buyback 800,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the medical instruments supplier to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products.

Analyst Recommendations for West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST)

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