Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “We are upbeat about Express Scripts’ pharmacy-benefits management long-term outlook. The projection takes the volatile healthcare market trends, inflation, patent expiration and lower industry utilization growth into consideration. Furthermore, Express Scripts should benefit from increased generic utilization, shift toward mail orders, strong specialty growth and an aging population. Branded drugs are becoming increasingly expensive due to double-digit brand inflation. Thus, continued rise in the price of specialty drugs and overwhelming regulatory burden is opening up considerable prospects for generics. However, over the past one year, Express Scripts has underperformed the broader industry in terms of price. Tough competition in the niche space and the persistent drug pricing issue are anticipated to affect the stock.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded Express Scripts Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC set a $72.00 price objective on Express Scripts Holding and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 29th. Needham & Company LLC assumed coverage on Express Scripts Holding in a research report on Friday, July 21st. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada assumed coverage on Express Scripts Holding in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $68.00 price objective on the stock. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.09.

Shares of Express Scripts Holding (ESRX) traded up 0.32% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $58.84. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,334,244 shares. Express Scripts Holding has a 52-week low of $55.80 and a 52-week high of $77.50. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $61.26 and a 200-day moving average of $62.06. The stock has a market cap of $33.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.21 and a beta of 0.88.

Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $25.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.52 billion. Express Scripts Holding had a return on equity of 25.58% and a net margin of 3.50%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.57 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Express Scripts Holding will post $6.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Express Scripts Holding news, Director Woodrow A. Myers, Jr. sold 3,900 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.93, for a total transaction of $249,327.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 11,500 shares in the company, valued at $735,195. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Phyllis S. Anderson sold 578 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total value of $36,489.14. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 10,530 shares in the company, valued at approximately $664,758.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 5,641 shares of company stock worth $357,317 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ESRX. Park National Corp OH grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 0.3% during the second quarter. Park National Corp OH now owns 3,575 shares of the company’s stock valued at $228,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 0.3% during the second quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 8,634 shares of the company’s stock valued at $551,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the last quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 1.0% during the second quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 3,186 shares of the company’s stock valued at $203,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 0.9% during the second quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. now owns 3,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $235,000 after buying an additional 33 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sandy Spring Bank grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 0.6% during the second quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 6,464 shares of the company’s stock valued at $413,000 after buying an additional 37 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.67% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX)

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