Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research
Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ESRX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $78.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential upside of 11.57% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Express Scripts stands to benefit from increased generic utilization, shift toward mail orders, strong specialty growth and an aging population. It is focused on the development of both specialty drugs and generics, which are expected to account for 50% of the total drug spend by 2018. The company’s SafeGuardRx suite of products is designed to better manage specialty spend, establishing a higher standard for patient outcomes. Demand for the company’s services continues to be solid, leading to an increase in expected client retention rates to the 96–98% band in 2017. Growth in the second half of 2016 should primarily be driven by higher utilization of the company’s cost savings programs along with generic launches. Estimates have remained mostly stable ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”
Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on ESRX. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a report on Monday, July 4th. Mizuho raised their price target on Express Scripts Holding from $77.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Sanford C. Bernstein started coverage on Express Scripts Holding in a report on Thursday, June 16th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $68.00 price target for the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a report on Monday, June 27th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their price target on Express Scripts Holding from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $81.53.
Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) opened at 69.91 on Wednesday. Express Scripts Holding has a 1-year low of $65.55 and a 1-year high of $89.20. The firm has a market cap of $44.06 billion, a PE ratio of 17.27 and a beta of 1.16. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $72.31 and its 200 day moving average is $73.75.
Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 25th. The company reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.57. The company earned $25.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.42 billion. Express Scripts Holding had a return on equity of 23.98% and a net margin of 2.64%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.44 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Express Scripts Holding will post $6.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, VP Christopher A. Mcginnis sold 1,785 shares of Express Scripts Holding stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.77, for a total transaction of $126,324.45. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 4,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $350,665.35. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Woodrow A. Myers, Jr. sold 12,036 shares of Express Scripts Holding stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.40, for a total value of $847,334.40. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 14,918 shares in the company, valued at $1,050,227.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.54% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC raised its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 49.9% in the second quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 14,646,371 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,110,195,000 after buying an additional 4,874,043 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 1.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 9,508,996 shares of the company’s stock worth $653,173,000 after buying an additional 121,543 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 7.6% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 7,768,039 shares of the company’s stock worth $588,818,000 after buying an additional 547,365 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners raised its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 16.5% in the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 7,063,742 shares of the company’s stock worth $535,432,000 after buying an additional 998,544 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 19.5% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 6,278,887 shares of the company’s stock worth $475,934,000 after buying an additional 1,025,739 shares during the last quarter. 88.52% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Express Scripts Holding
Express Scripts, Inc is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company in North America, offering a range of services to its clients, which include health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, workers’ compensation plans and government health programs. It operates in two segments: PBM and Emerging Markets (EM).
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