Jefferies Group LLC upgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Friday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm currently has $115.00 price objective on the medical instruments supplier’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $96.00. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for West Pharmaceutical Services’ Q2 2018 earnings at $0.81 EPS.

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $114.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $98.52.

Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) opened at 95.91 on Friday. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52-week low of $70.17 and a 52-week high of $99.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.16 and a beta of 1.13. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $87.41 and a 200 day moving average of $89.29.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.01. West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 11.42% and a return on equity of 14.02%. The business had revenue of $397.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $406.00 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.59 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services will post $2.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 18th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This is an increase from West Pharmaceutical Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 17th. West Pharmaceutical Services’s payout ratio is presently 22.22%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.3% during the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 10,735 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,015,000 after acquiring an additional 34 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 1.6% during the first quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 2,569 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $210,000 after acquiring an additional 40 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.7% during the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 5,867 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $555,000 after acquiring an additional 40 shares during the period. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 0.7% during the second quarter. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. now owns 12,080 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,142,000 after acquiring an additional 80 shares during the period. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 3.2% during the first quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 2,899 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $232,000 after acquiring an additional 91 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.25% of the company’s stock.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile

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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