Zacks: Analysts Expect West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) Will Announce Earnings of $0.66 Per Share

Equities research analysts expect West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) to announce earnings per share of $0.66 for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have issued estimates for West Pharmaceutical Services’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.63 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.67. West Pharmaceutical Services posted earnings of $0.51 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 29.4%. The business is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th.

On average, analysts expect that West Pharmaceutical Services will report full-year earnings of $2.81 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.79 to $2.83. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the company will report earnings of $3.20 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.06 to $3.35. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for West Pharmaceutical Services.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last announced its quarterly 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). The firm had revenue of $415.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $403.87 million. West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 8.20% and a return on equity of 14.40%. The business’s revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.60 EPS.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on WST shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Saturday, February 3rd. Goldman Sachs started coverage on West Pharmaceutical Services in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $110.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine cut West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, April 7th. Finally, Bank of America cut West Pharmaceutical Services from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $85.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $106.00.

West Pharmaceutical Services opened at $90.11 on Friday, according to Marketbeat.com. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52-week low of $80.02 and a 52-week high of $103.36. The stock has a market cap of $6.56 billion, a PE ratio of 32.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.89 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a quick ratio of 2.00, a current ratio of 2.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15.

West Pharmaceutical Services declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 15th that permits the company to repurchase 800,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the medical instruments supplier to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 18th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.62%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 17th. West Pharmaceutical Services’s payout ratio is 20.14%.

In other news, CFO William J. Federici sold 52,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.14, for a total value of $4,531,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 247,019 shares in the company, valued at $21,525,235.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 4.1% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,483,196 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $572,402,000 after acquiring an additional 252,972 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 75.8% during the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 2,042,166 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $201,500,000 after acquiring an additional 880,636 shares during the period. William Blair Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 43.2% during the fourth quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 1,272,407 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $125,548,000 after acquiring an additional 383,646 shares during the period. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership grew its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 24.3% during the first quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 1,245,865 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $109,997,000 after acquiring an additional 243,421 shares during the period. Finally, Hermes Investment Management Ltd. grew its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 3.4% during the fourth quarter. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. now owns 939,351 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $92,686,000 after acquiring an additional 30,696 shares during the period. 94.48% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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