Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) was upgraded by research analysts at Robert W. Baird from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued on Friday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has a $81.00 target price on the stock, up from their prior target price of $72.00. Robert W. Baird’s price target points to a potential upside of 17.36% from the stock’s current price.

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on ESRX. Jefferies Group set a $72.00 price target on Express Scripts and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. ValuEngine cut Express Scripts from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Royal Bank of Canada began coverage on Express Scripts in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $68.00 price target on the stock. UBS cut Express Scripts from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Monday, October 9th. Finally, Raymond James Financial reiterated an “underperform” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a report on Monday, October 9th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $73.77.

Shares of Express Scripts (ESRX) traded up $0.45 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $69.02. The stock had a trading volume of 6,154,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,117,191. Express Scripts has a 52 week low of $55.80 and a 52 week high of $73.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $38,836.20, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.02, a PEG ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a current ratio of 0.73.

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.90 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.90. Express Scripts had a return on equity of 25.46% and a net margin of 3.64%. The company had revenue of $24.68 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $25.68 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.74 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Express Scripts will post 7.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Express Scripts news, CEO Timothy C. Wentworth acquired 8,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $61.13 per share, for a total transaction of $489,040.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 98,628 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,029,129.64. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Phyllis S. Anderson sold 643 shares of Express Scripts stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.37, for a total value of $40,103.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.68% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Burt Wealth Advisors raised its position in Express Scripts by 11.4% in the 2nd quarter. Burt Wealth Advisors now owns 1,696 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 174 shares during the last quarter. CKW Financial Group raised its position in Express Scripts by 20.0% in the 2nd quarter. CKW Financial Group now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. acquired a new stake in Express Scripts in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $120,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its position in Express Scripts by 199.1% in the 2nd quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,103 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 1,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Monroe Bank & Trust MI raised its position in Express Scripts by 74.8% in the 3rd quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,266 shares of the company’s stock valued at $156,000 after buying an additional 970 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.44% of the company’s stock.

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About Express Scripts

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX)

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