Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by equities researchers at Needham & Company LLC in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price objective on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Friday, September 1st. SunTrust Banks set a $82.00 price objective on Express Scripts and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Express Scripts from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 target price on Express Scripts and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 15th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Express Scripts presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.40.

Express Scripts (ESRX) opened at $73.99 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86. The firm has a market capitalization of $41,719.04, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 0.88. Express Scripts has a 1 year low of $55.80 and a 1 year high of $74.67.

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.90. Express Scripts had a return on equity of 25.46% and a net margin of 3.64%. The business had revenue of $24.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $25.68 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.74 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Express Scripts will post 7.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Express Scripts announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Monday, December 18th that permits the company to repurchase 45,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Express Scripts news, VP Phyllis S. Anderson sold 643 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.37, for a total value of $40,103.91. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Christine Houston sold 10,104 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total value of $708,088.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 87,400 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,124,992. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in Express Scripts by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 7,116,445 shares of the company’s stock valued at $454,314,000 after purchasing an additional 97,953 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its stake in Express Scripts by 5.1% during the 3rd quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 506,511 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,072,000 after purchasing an additional 24,728 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake in Express Scripts by 25.3% during the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 708,955 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,260,000 after purchasing an additional 143,163 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Express Scripts by 81.8% during the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 112,666 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,192,000 after purchasing an additional 50,707 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in Express Scripts by 12.5% during the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 35,421 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,243,000 after purchasing an additional 3,940 shares during the period. 88.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Express Scripts Company Profile

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX)

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