BidaskClub lowered shares of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note published on Thursday.

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on WST. Zacks Investment Research downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and set a $90.00 price objective on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a research report on Thursday, June 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $90.18.

West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) traded down 0.08% during trading on Thursday, reaching $86.33. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 29,112 shares. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52 week low of $70.17 and a 52 week high of $99.91. The company has a market capitalization of $6.39 billion, a PE ratio of 37.05 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $94.28 and a 200-day moving average price of $88.75.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $397.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $406 million. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 14.02% and a net margin of 11.42%. The business’s revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.59 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that West Pharmaceutical Services will post $2.70 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 18th will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 17th. This is an increase from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.65%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s payout ratio is currently 22.22%.

In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, CFO William J. Federici sold 54,996 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $95.45, for a total value of $5,249,368.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 6.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,440,844 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $525,637,000 after buying an additional 392,516 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 8,884.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,805,036 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $473,749,000 after buying an additional 5,740,426 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 10.1% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,031,582 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $165,798,000 after buying an additional 186,692 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 5.6% in the first quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,332,389 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $108,736,000 after buying an additional 70,547 shares during the period. Finally, Hermes Investment Management Ltd. increased its stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.8% in the first quarter. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. now owns 949,801 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $77,513,000 after buying an additional 7,628 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.35% of the company’s stock.

About West Pharmaceutical Services

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc is a manufacturer of packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products. The Company’s products include vial containment solutions, prefillable systems, self-injection platforms, cartridge systems and components, reconstitution and transfer systems, intradermal delivery solutions, specialty components, and contract manufacturing and analytical services.

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