West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) shares hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $82.28 and last traded at $81.65, with a volume of 59,176 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $81.56.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on WST. Zacks Investment Research raised West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $91.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 target price (up from $69.00) on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research note on Friday, May 13th.

The company has a 50 day moving average of $79.53 and a 200 day moving average of $71.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.93 billion and a PE ratio of 59.04.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.59 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.03. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.47 earnings per share. The business earned $388 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $384.58 million. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will post $2.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 20th were issued a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, July 18th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.59%.

In related news, Director Paula A. Johnson sold 3,042 shares of West Pharmaceutical Services stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total transaction of $248,075.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 38,450 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,135,597.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Daniel Malone sold 3,950 shares of West Pharmaceutical Services 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 transaction, the vice president now directly owns 30,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,298,416.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its position 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. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position 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. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 6.7% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 302,423 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,212,000 after buying an additional 19,121 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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