West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) saw a large increase in short interest in November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 1,240,000 shares, an increase of 47.8% from the November 14th total of 838,700 shares. Approximately 1.7% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 433,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.9 days.

WST has been the subject of several research reports. Bank of America downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $135.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research raised West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 target price for the company in a research report on Sunday, November 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $132.29.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Krane Funds Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter worth about $26,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the second quarter worth about $40,000. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 84.5% during the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 393 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $49,000 after buying an additional 180 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services by 41.3% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 794 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $88,000 after buying an additional 232 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the third quarter worth about $113,000. 90.21% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE WST traded down $0.81 during trading on Friday, hitting $145.60. The stock had a trading volume of 6,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 495,961. The company has a market capitalization of $10.85 billion, a PE ratio of 51.80, a PEG ratio of 3.34 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a quick ratio of 2.31, a current ratio of 3.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $146.54 and a 200 day moving average price of $136.92. West Pharmaceutical Services has a twelve month low of $91.75 and a twelve month high of $152.10.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.08. West Pharmaceutical Services had a return on equity of 16.66% and a net margin of 12.82%. The business had revenue of $456.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $450.03 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.76 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that West Pharmaceutical Services will post 3.14 earnings per share for the current year.

About West Pharmaceutical Services

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc manufactures and sells containment and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products in the United States, Germany, France, Other European countries, South Korea, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products.

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