Equities researchers at Evercore ISI began coverage on shares of Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The brokerage set an “in-line” rating and a $78.00 price target on the stock. Evercore ISI’s target price indicates a potential upside of 2.52% from the company’s current price.
Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on ESRX. ValuEngine raised Express Scripts from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. SunTrust Banks set a $86.00 price objective on Express Scripts and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. Robert W. Baird increased their price objective on Express Scripts from $57.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada began coverage on Express Scripts in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $68.00 price objective on the stock. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $75.84.
Express Scripts (ESRX) traded up $0.42 during trading on Thursday, hitting $76.08. The company had a trading volume of 3,532,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,023,967. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.61. Express Scripts has a 12 month low of $55.80 and a 12 month high of $76.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $43,090.00, a PE ratio of 12.64, a PEG ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.87.
Express Scripts declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Monday, December 18th that permits the company to repurchase 45,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, VP Phyllis S. Anderson sold 643 shares of Express Scripts stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.37, for a total transaction of $40,103.91. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Timothy C. Wentworth acquired 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were bought at an average cost of $61.13 per share, for a total transaction of $489,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 98,628 shares in the company, valued at $6,029,129.64. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 14,195 shares of company stock worth $1,010,240 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Burt Wealth Advisors lifted its position in shares of Express Scripts by 11.4% during 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 in the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. bought a new stake in Express Scripts during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $120,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in Express Scripts by 199.1% during the 2nd quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,103 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares during the period. Monroe Bank & Trust MI raised its stake in Express Scripts by 74.8% during the 3rd quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,266 shares of the company’s stock valued at $156,000 after purchasing an additional 970 shares during the period. Finally, Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. raised its stake in Express Scripts by 49.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. now owns 2,797 shares of the company’s stock valued at $179,000 after purchasing an additional 924 shares during the period. 88.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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).
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