West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) Hits New 1-Year High at $159.21

West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $159.21 and last traded at $158.47, with a volume of 17000 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $158.36.

Several research firms recently issued reports on WST. Zacks Investment Research upgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 target price on the stock in a report on Sunday, November 3rd. ValuEngine lowered West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, Bank of America lowered West Pharmaceutical Services from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, December 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $132.29.

The company has a quick ratio of 2.31, a current ratio of 3.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $150.01 and a 200-day simple moving average of $142.49. The stock has a market cap of $11.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 56.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.24 and a beta of 1.24.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $456.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $450.03 million. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 16.66% and a net margin of 12.82%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.76 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will post 3.14 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 5th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 22nd will be paid a $0.16 dividend. This is a positive change from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 21st. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.41%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 22.78%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 41.3% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 794 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $88,000 after purchasing an additional 232 shares during the last quarter. Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in the third quarter valued at approximately $113,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in the second quarter valued at approximately $150,000. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 15.5% in the fourth quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,274 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $192,000 after purchasing an additional 171 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wedbush Securities Inc. acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.21% of the company’s stock.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile (NYSE:WST)

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc manufactures and sells containment and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products in the United States, Germany, France, Other European countries, South Korea, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products.

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