West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) was downgraded by Wells Fargo & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research note on Thursday, August 4th.

Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) traded down 8.135% on Wednesday, hitting $74.705. 590,151 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $5.47 billion, a PE ratio of 54.410 and a beta of 0.87. The company’s 50 day moving average is $81.54 and its 200-day moving average is $74.86. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52-week low of $52.79 and a 52-week high of $84.33.

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West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.03. The company earned $388 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $384.58 million. West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 6.99% and a return on equity of 14.40%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.47 earnings per share. Analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services will post $2.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 19th will be given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.64%. This is a boost from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.04%.

In other news, Director Paula A. Johnson sold 3,042 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total transaction of $248,075.10. Following the sale, the director now owns 38,450 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,135,597.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Karen Flynn sold 14,581 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.28, for a total transaction of $1,214,305.68. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 13,513 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,125,362.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 5.13% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WST. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter valued at about $120,000. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter valued at $151,000. Seven Eight Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 5,481.4% in the second quarter. Seven Eight Capital LLC now owns 2,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $182,000 after buying an additional 2,357 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter valued at $205,000. Finally, Checchi Capital Advisers LLC boosted its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 41,428.6% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 2,907 shares of the company’s stock valued at $221,000 after buying an additional 2,900 shares during the period. 90.24% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About West Pharmaceutical Services

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc is a manufacturer of components and systems for the packaging and delivery of injectable drugs, as well as delivery system components for the pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products industries. The Company’s products include stoppers and seals for vials, prefillable syringe components and systems, components for intravenous and blood collection systems, safety and administration systems, advanced injection systems, and contract design and manufacturing services.

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