Murphy Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in Express Scripts Holding Co (NASDAQ:ESRX) in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm acquired 2,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $228,000.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of ESRX. Abrams Capital Management L.P. bought a new position in shares of Express Scripts during the second quarter valued at approximately $204,846,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 124.5% during the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,971,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,196,000 after purchasing an additional 1,093,200 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 117.6% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,419,840 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,626,000 after purchasing an additional 767,426 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in shares of Express Scripts during the second quarter valued at approximately $54,695,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 1.5% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 35,424,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,735,103,000 after purchasing an additional 538,578 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.73% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts have weighed in on ESRX shares. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Express Scripts from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. Credit Suisse Group downgraded shares of Express Scripts from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their target price for the company from $90.00 to $96.50 in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Express Scripts from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on shares of Express Scripts to $94.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 27th. Finally, William Blair raised shares of Express Scripts from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $86.36.
Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The company reported $2.22 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.20 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $25.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.43 billion. Express Scripts had a net margin of 4.65% and a return on equity of 25.49%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.73 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Express Scripts Holding Co will post 9.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, insider Christine Houston sold 12,898 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total transaction of $1,096,330.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 110,908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,427,180. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.79% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
About Express Scripts
Express Scripts Holding Company operates as a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company in the United States and Canada. The company's PBM segment offers clinical solutions; and specialized pharmacy care, home delivery and specialty pharmacy, retail network pharmacy administration, benefit design consultation, drug utilization review, drug formulary management, public exchange, administration of group purchasing organization, and digital consumer health and drug information services.
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