West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) was down 8% on Wednesday . The company traded as low as $74.64 and last traded at $74.81, with a volume of 986,250 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $81.32.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on WST shares. Zacks Investment Research raised West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. lowered West Pharmaceutical Services from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday.

The company has a market capitalization of $5.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 54.60 and a beta of 0.87. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $81.54 and its 200-day moving average price is $74.86.

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West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $388 million for 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%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.47 EPS. Analysts anticipate that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will post $2.23 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This is a positive change from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.69%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is 35.04%.

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

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $120,000. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd purchased a new position in West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter valued at approximately $151,000. Seven Eight Capital LLC boosted its position in 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 position in West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Finally, Checchi Capital Advisers LLC boosted its position in 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. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.24% of the company’s stock.

About West Pharmaceutical Services

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc (West) 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 segments include Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems segment (Packaging Systems) and the Pharmaceutical Delivery Systems segment (Delivery Systems).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WST

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