Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) by 1.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 328,095 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock after acquiring an additional 3,724 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services were worth $36,156,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Several other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of WST. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. acquired a new position in West Pharmaceutical Services in the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. lifted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 188.1% during the 1st quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 242 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $27,000 after acquiring an additional 158 shares during the period. Berman Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the 4th quarter valued at $27,000. Manchester Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the 1st quarter valued at $33,000. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC lifted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 208.7% during the 1st quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 318 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 215 shares during the period. 91.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, VP Daniel Malone sold 4,458 shares of West Pharmaceutical Services stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.03, for a total transaction of $548,467.74. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 33,478 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,118,798.34. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.08. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 16.38% and a net margin of 12.53%. The business had revenue of $443.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $431.00 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.62 earnings per share. West Pharmaceutical Services’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will post 2.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, July 24th will be paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.49%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 23rd. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is 21.35%.
WST has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, April 27th. Jefferies Financial Group downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $122.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, William Blair started coverage on West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $112.16 target price for the company.
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West Pharmaceutical Services 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, South Korea, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products.
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