West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Saturday. The firm currently has a $135.00 price objective on the medical instruments supplier’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 16.44% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. is a global drug delivery technology company that applies proprietary materials science, formulation research and manufacturing innovation to advance the quality, therapeutic value, development speed and rapid market availability of pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. West is the world’s premiere provider of standard-setting systems and device components for parenterally administered medicines and an emerging leader in the development of advanced formulation technologies for the transmucosal delivery of drugs. West contract manufacturing harnesses a powerful combination of innovation, technology, infrastructure and expertise to serve the pharmaceutical, medical and consumer industries. Along with more than 50 years of experience, they bring customers quality, safety and reliability in injection molding, contract assembly and finished packaging. “

Shares of WST traded up $1.84 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $115.94. The company had a trading volume of 242,833 shares, compared to its average volume of 379,511. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15, a quick ratio of 1.94 and a current ratio of 2.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.08 billion, a PE ratio of 41.71, a PEG ratio of 4.19 and a beta of 1.16. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 1 year low of $82.74 and a 1 year high of $125.09.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $447.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $422.57 million. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 15.38% and a net margin of 8.99%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.66 EPS. Analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services will post 2.82 EPS for the current year.

In other news, SVP Karen Flynn sold 20,458 shares of West Pharmaceutical Services stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $116.23, for a total value of $2,377,833.34. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 31,051 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,609,057.73. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WST. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,570,782 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $652,413,000 after acquiring an additional 87,586 shares in the last quarter. USS Investment Management Ltd raised its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 24.6% during the 2nd quarter. USS Investment Management Ltd now owns 1,087,078 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $107,936,000 after acquiring an additional 214,707 shares in the last quarter. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. raised its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. now owns 968,945 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $96,207,000 after acquiring an additional 44,169 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 13,849.8% during the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 950,816 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $94,407,000 after acquiring an additional 944,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 27.1% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 875,723 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $86,951,000 after acquiring an additional 186,752 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.97% of the company’s stock.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile

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.

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