Express Scripts (ESRX) Trading Up 5.8%

Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) was up 5.8% on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $68.30 and last traded at $68.16. Approximately 8,791,500 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 114% from the average daily volume of 4,116,816 shares. The stock had previously closed at $64.41.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on ESRX shares. Robert W. Baird increased their target price on shares of Express Scripts from $57.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Jefferies Group set a $72.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 29th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Express Scripts from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $66.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, UBS downgraded shares of Express Scripts from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.67.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.61. The company has a market cap of $38,422.74, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.92, a PEG ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 0.88.

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.90. Express Scripts had a net margin of 3.64% and a return on equity of 25.46%. The company had revenue of $24.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $25.68 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.74 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Express Scripts Holding Company will post 7.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Express Scripts news, VP Phyllis S. Anderson sold 578 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $36,489.14. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 10,530 shares in the company, valued at approximately $664,758.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Timothy C. Wentworth bought 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on 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 completion of the acquisition, 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. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 5,121 shares of company stock worth $325,920. 0.68% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Dodge & Cox lifted its position in shares of Express Scripts by 25.7% during the second quarter. Dodge & Cox now owns 36,188,517 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,310,275,000 after buying an additional 7,388,021 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Express Scripts by 8.4% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 11,880,919 shares of the company’s stock valued at $758,480,000 after buying an additional 922,406 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Express Scripts by 12.2% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 11,068,777 shares of the company’s stock valued at $706,629,000 after buying an additional 1,206,980 shares during the last quarter. Veritas Asset Management LLP raised its position in shares of Express Scripts by 5.6% in the 3rd quarter. Veritas Asset Management LLP now owns 8,652,910 shares of the company’s stock valued at $547,902,000 after purchasing an additional 460,338 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB raised its position in shares of Express Scripts by 2.6% in the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 7,304,973 shares of the company’s stock valued at $462,551,000 after purchasing an additional 188,528 shares during the last quarter. 88.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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