Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) by 64.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 400,143 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 157,269 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. owned about 0.55% of West Pharmaceutical Services worth $30,363,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank bought a new position in West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter worth about $35,278,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 120.7% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 626,014 shares of the company’s stock worth $43,395,000 after buying an additional 342,331 shares during the last quarter. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. increased its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 16.2% in the second quarter. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. now owns 1,078,867 shares of the company’s stock worth $81,864,000 after buying an additional 150,064 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 9.6% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,273,347 shares of the company’s stock worth $96,622,000 after buying an additional 111,645 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 14.8% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 583,015 shares of the company’s stock worth $44,240,000 after buying an additional 75,097 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.24% of the company’s stock.

West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) traded down 7.06% on Wednesday, reaching $75.58. 404,754 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $81.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $74.86. West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. has a 12 month low of $52.79 and a 12 month high of $84.33. The company has a market cap of $5.53 billion, a PE ratio of 55.05 and a beta of 0.87.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.03. West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 6.99% and a return on equity of 14.40%. The firm had revenue of $388 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $384.58 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.47 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will post $2.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 19th will be issued a $0.13 dividend. This is a boost from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.64%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 35.04%.

Several research analysts have weighed in on WST shares. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Thursday, June 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $91.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, August 5th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday.

In other news, Director Paula A. Johnson sold 3,042 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total value of $248,075.10. Following the transaction, the director now owns 38,450 shares in the company, valued at $3,135,597.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Karen Flynn sold 14,581 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.28, for a total transaction of $1,214,305.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 13,513 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,125,362.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.13% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About West Pharmaceutical Services

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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