Equities analysts expect West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) to report earnings of $0.62 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have made estimates for West Pharmaceutical Services’ earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.61 and the highest is $0.63. West Pharmaceutical Services posted earnings per share of $0.54 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 14.8%. The company is expected to issue its next earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, February 15th.

On average, analysts expect that West Pharmaceutical Services will report full-year earnings of $2.76 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.75 to $2.77. For the next year, analysts expect that the business will post earnings of $2.90 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.79 to $2.99. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of research analysts that follow West Pharmaceutical Services.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on WST shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Bank of America cut West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $98.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on West Pharmaceutical Services from $105.00 to $112.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on West Pharmaceutical Services in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $110.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $108.17.

In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, CFO William J. Federici sold 21,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.01, for a total value of $2,079,210.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 190,493 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,860,711.93. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 1.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WST. Citigroup Inc. increased its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 95.1% in the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 1,569 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $148,000 after buying an additional 765 shares during the period. Nomura Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services in the second quarter worth $201,000. Grandfield & Dodd LLC acquired a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services in the third quarter worth $201,000. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services in the third quarter worth $202,000. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services in the fourth quarter worth $206,000. 92.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE WST) traded up $0.83 on Wednesday, reaching $91.25. The company had a trading volume of 377,092 shares, compared to its average volume of 353,120. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52-week low of $77.97 and a 52-week high of $103.36. The company has a market capitalization of $6,713.95, a PE ratio of 36.35, a PEG ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15, a current ratio of 2.59 and a quick ratio of 1.87.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 18th were given a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.61%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, January 17th. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.31%.

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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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