West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $77.80 and last traded at $77.20, with a volume of 103,411 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $76.30.

Several research firms have recently commented on WST. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $81.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 20th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 target price on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research report on Thursday, June 9th. Wells Fargo & Co. began coverage on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research report on Tuesday, March 22nd. They set an “outperform” rating for the company. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 target price (up from $69.00) on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research report on Friday, May 13th.

The stock has a market capitalization of $5.65 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 67.14. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $75.04 and a 200 day moving average price of $66.71.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.02. The company earned $362.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $355.86 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.45 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will post $2.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 20th will be given a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, July 18th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.62%.

In other news, VP Daniel Malone sold 3,950 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.95, for a total value of $296,052.50. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 30,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,298,416.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas W. Hofmann sold 2,466 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.57, for a total transaction of $181,423.62. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 34,506 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,538,606.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several large investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 13.1% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 377,401 shares of the company’s stock valued at $22,727,000 after buying an additional 43,786 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 22.2% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 52,989 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,192,000 after buying an additional 9,628 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,321,348 shares of the company’s stock valued at $320,452,000 after buying an additional 46,295 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. boosted its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 93.1% in the fourth quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 21,387 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,288,000 after buying an additional 10,312 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 104.5% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 24,581 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,480,000 after buying an additional 12,560 shares in the last quarter.

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc is a manufacturer of components and systems for the packaging and delivery of injectable drugs, as well as delivery system components for the pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products industries. The Company’s products include stoppers and seals for vials, prefillable syringe components and systems, components for intravenous and blood collection systems, safety and administration systems, advanced injection systems, and contract design and manufacturing services.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.