Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

WST has been the subject of several other research reports. Jefferies Group restated a hold rating and issued a $67.00 target price 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 target price for the company in a report on Friday, August 5th.

Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) opened at 74.97 on Wednesday. West Pharmaceutical Services has a one year low of $52.79 and a one year high of $84.33. The stock has a market cap of $5.49 billion, a PE ratio of 54.60 and a beta of 0.87. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $81.38 and a 200-day moving average of $74.86.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. This is a positive change from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.69%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.04%.

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

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. World Asset Management Inc raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.3% in the second quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 3,549 shares of the company’s stock valued at $269,000 after buying an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 1.1% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 12,616 shares of the company’s stock valued at $957,000 after buying an additional 137 shares in the last quarter. Silvercrest Asset Management Group LLC raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 1.3% in the first quarter. Silvercrest Asset Management Group LLC now owns 13,307 shares of the company’s stock valued at $922,000 after buying an additional 177 shares in the last quarter. Veritable L.P. raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 4.9% in the second quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 4,455 shares of the company’s stock valued at $338,000 after buying an additional 209 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cambridge Trust Co. raised its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 3.0% in the second quarter. Cambridge Trust Co. now owns 8,502 shares of the company’s stock valued at $645,000 after buying an additional 249 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.24% of the company’s stock.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc (West) 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 segments include Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems segment (Packaging Systems) and the Pharmaceutical Delivery Systems segment (Delivery Systems).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WST

Receive News & Ratings for West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.