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

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Saturday morning. They currently have $110.00 target price on the medical instruments supplier’s stock.

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. “

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on WST. Bank of America lowered shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $85.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. ValuEngine lowered shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, April 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. West Pharmaceutical Services presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $105.17.

West Pharmaceutical Services opened at $99.29 on Friday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 12-month low of $80.02 and a 12-month high of $103.36. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.69, a PEG ratio of 3.21 and a beta of 1.11. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15, a quick ratio of 2.00 and a current ratio of 2.82.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.62 earnings per share (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 analysts’ expectations of $403.87 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.60 EPS. West Pharmaceutical Services’s revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services will post 2.81 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.56%. 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 West Pharmaceutical Services stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.14, for a total transaction of $4,531,280.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 247,019 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $21,525,235.66. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO William J. Federici sold 42,869 shares of West Pharmaceutical Services stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.09, for a total transaction of $4,119,282.21. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 270,681 shares in the company, valued at approximately $26,009,737.29. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 99,869 shares of company stock worth $9,136,762 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter worth about $125,000. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 815.7% during the first quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 1,923 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $170,000 after acquiring an additional 1,713 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. boosted its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 53.0% during the first quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 1,994 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $176,000 after acquiring an additional 691 shares in the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. bought a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter worth about $211,000. Finally, ETRADE Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter worth about $341,000. 94.45% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST)

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