Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) was upgraded by stock analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report issued on Monday, MarketBeat Ratings reports.
A number of other research firms have also recently commented on ESRX. SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Express Scripts from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 2nd. Robert W. Baird raised shares of Express Scripts from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $72.00 to $81.00 in a report on Friday, December 15th. William Blair lowered shares of Express Scripts from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, Raymond James Financial reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a report on Friday, December 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Express Scripts currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $81.97.
Express Scripts (ESRX) traded down $2.50 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $78.25. 7,043,270 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,990,000. Express Scripts has a 12 month low of $55.80 and a 12 month high of $85.07. The company has a market cap of $45,320.00, a PE ratio of 10.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 0.67.
Express Scripts declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Monday, December 18th that allows the company to repurchase 45,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, VP Christine Houston sold 10,104 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total value of $708,088.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 87,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,124,992. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Glen D. Stettin sold 3,449 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.00, for a total transaction of $279,369.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 33,715 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,730,915. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 21,896 shares of company stock valued at $1,617,903. 0.68% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Express Scripts by 8.7% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,287,905 shares of the company’s stock valued at $618,609,000 after purchasing an additional 666,754 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its stake in Express Scripts by 2.6% during the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 7,304,973 shares of the company’s stock worth $462,551,000 after buying an additional 188,528 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Express Scripts by 0.5% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 6,608,383 shares of the company’s stock worth $492,297,000 after buying an additional 32,548 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in Express Scripts by 1.3% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,545,076 shares of the company’s stock worth $414,419,000 after buying an additional 86,800 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in Express Scripts by 23.5% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 5,233,327 shares of the company’s stock worth $331,374,000 after buying an additional 996,816 shares during the period. 89.08% of the stock is 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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