West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) has been assigned an average broker rating score of 1.50 (Buy) from the four analysts that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and three have issued a strong buy recommendation on the company.

Brokers have set a 12 month consensus price objective of $102.75 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.53 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given West Pharmaceutical Services an industry rank of 193 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of brokerages have commented on WST. Jefferies Group LLC raised West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday. BidaskClub lowered West Pharmaceutical Services from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th.

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Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WST. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 132.5% during the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 8,403 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $687,000 after acquiring an additional 4,789 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 4.2% during the 1st quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 43,109 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $3,516,000 after acquiring an additional 1,718 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE lifted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 21.3% during the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 3,539 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $289,000 after acquiring an additional 622 shares during the period. Elkfork Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 17.6% during the 1st quarter. Elkfork Partners LLC now owns 3,388 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $277,000 after acquiring an additional 506 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 3.5% during the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 842,316 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $68,742,000 after acquiring an additional 28,302 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.25% of the company’s stock.

Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE WST) traded up 4.61% on Friday, reaching $95.91. The company had a trading volume of 761,446 shares. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52-week low of $70.17 and a 52-week high of $99.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.16 and a beta of 1.13. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $87.41 and its 200-day moving average price is $89.29.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.01. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 14.02% and a net margin of 11.42%. The firm had revenue of $397.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $406.00 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.59 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services will post $2.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 18th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.58%. This is a positive change from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 17th. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 22.22%.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc is a manufacturer of packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products. The Company’s products include vial containment solutions, prefillable systems, self-injection platforms, cartridge systems and components, reconstitution and transfer systems, intradermal delivery solutions, specialty components, and contract manufacturing and analytical services.

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