Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ESRX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Express Scripts stands to benefit from increased generic utilization, shift toward mail orders, strong specialty growth and an aging population. It is focused on the development of both specialty drugs and generics, which are expected to account for 50% of the total drug spend by 2018. The company’s SafeGuardRx suite of products is designed to better manage specialty spend, establishing a higher standard for patient outcomes. Demand for the company’s services continues to be solid, leading to an increase in expected client retention rates. However, the company narrowed its earnings outlook at the second quarter conference call. Estimates have remained mostly stable ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”
Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Mizuho upped their target price on shares of Express Scripts Holding from $77.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Barclays PLC upped their target price on shares of Express Scripts Holding from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Leerink Swann reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a research report on Thursday, September 1st. Jefferies Group lowered their price objective on shares of Express Scripts Holding from $98.00 to $88.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $81.53.
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Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) traded down 0.11% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $70.23. 733,651 shares of the company traded hands. Express Scripts Holding has a 12-month low of $65.55 and a 12-month high of $89.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $44.26 billion, a PE ratio of 17.35 and a beta of 1.16. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $70.78 and its 200-day moving average is $73.78.
Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) last issued its earnings results on Monday, July 25th. The company reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.57. Express Scripts Holding had a net margin of 2.64% and a return on equity of 23.98%. The firm earned $25.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.42 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.44 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Express Scripts Holding will post $6.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, VP Christopher A. Mcginnis sold 1,785 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.77, for a total transaction of $126,324.45. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 4,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $350,665.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Woodrow A. Myers, Jr. sold 12,036 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.40, for a total transaction of $847,334.40. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 14,918 shares in the company, valued at $1,050,227.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.54% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC raised its position in Express Scripts Holding by 0.5% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 6,561 shares of the company’s stock valued at $497,000 after buying an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co raised its position in Express Scripts Holding by 1.2% in the second quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 3,217 shares of the company’s stock valued at $244,000 after buying an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp raised its position in Express Scripts Holding by 0.9% in the second quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 5,991 shares of the company’s stock valued at $454,000 after buying an additional 53 shares in the last quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. raised its position in Express Scripts Holding by 0.4% in the second quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 16,970 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,158,000 after buying an additional 70 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Integrated Wealth Management raised its position in Express Scripts Holding by 4.2% in the second quarter. Integrated Wealth Management now owns 1,845 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. 88.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Express Scripts Holding Company Profile
Express Scripts, Inc is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company in North America, offering a range of services to its clients, which include health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, workers’ compensation plans and government health programs. It operates in two segments: PBM and Emerging Markets (EM).
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