Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) gapped up before the market opened on Wednesday . The stock had previously closed at $77.21, but opened at $77.44. West Pharmaceutical Services shares last traded at $78.67, with a volume of 157,388 shares traded.

Several analysts have weighed in on WST shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 target price (up previously from $69.00) on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research report on Friday, May 13th. Wells Fargo & Co. started coverage on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research report on Tuesday, March 22nd. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, 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.

The firm has a market cap of $5.74 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 68.18. The company’s 50 day moving average is $75.96 and its 200-day moving average is $67.63.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.02. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.45 earnings per share. The firm had revenue of $362.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $355.86 million. The business’s revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will post $2.20 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 3rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, July 20th will be given a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 18th.

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

A number of large investors recently modified their holdings of WST. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 31,111 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,874,000 after buying an additional 1,789 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. raised its stake in shares of 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. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 226,582 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,645,000 after buying an additional 6,187 shares in the last quarter. BHF Kleinwort Benson Group S.A. raised its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 64.5% in the fourth quarter. BHF Kleinwort Benson Group S.A. now owns 21,524 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,296,000 after buying an additional 8,438 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 20,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,259,000 after buying an additional 113 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.

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