Zacks: Analysts Expect West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (WST) to Post $0.62 EPS

Equities analysts forecast that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) will report earnings of $0.62 per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Three analysts have issued estimates for West Pharmaceutical Services’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.61 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.64. West Pharmaceutical Services posted earnings per share of $0.54 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 14.8%. The company is expected to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, February 15th.

On average, analysts expect that West Pharmaceutical Services will report full year earnings of $2.74 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.66 to $2.77. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will report earnings of $2.87 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.79 to $2.99. Zacks’ EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for West Pharmaceutical Services.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.14. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 14.47% and a net margin of 12.12%. The company had revenue of $398.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $386.02 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.53 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several brokerages have weighed in on WST. Stephens began coverage on West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $99.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised West Pharmaceutical Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price target on West Pharmaceutical Services from $105.00 to $112.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Bank of America downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $98.00 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, Jefferies Group raised West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $96.00 to $115.00 in a report on Friday, September 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. West Pharmaceutical Services presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $106.00.

In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, CFO William J. Federici sold 21,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.01, for a total value of $2,079,210.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 190,493 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,860,711.93. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 1.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 2.3% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 108,158 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $10,223,000 after purchasing an additional 2,427 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 4.0% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 312,977 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $29,583,000 after purchasing an additional 11,898 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 24.2% during the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 61,458 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $5,810,000 after purchasing an additional 11,970 shares during the period. Chicago Equity Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter worth about $734,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 1.8% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,555,351 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $619,612,000 after purchasing an additional 114,507 shares during the period. 93.25% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) opened at $99.62 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.87, a current ratio of 2.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15. The firm has a market capitalization of $7,388.17, a PE ratio of 39.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.11. West Pharmaceutical Services has a twelve month low of $77.97 and a twelve month high of $103.36.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 18th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.56%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 17th. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.31%.

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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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