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

West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE:WST) saw a large drop in short interest in the month of July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 768,700 shares, a drop of 16.0% from the June 30th total of 915,500 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 881,900 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 0.9 days. Approximately 1.1% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Shares of WST stock opened at $268.87 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $229.94 and a 200-day moving average price of $185.69. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 52 week low of $124.53 and a 52 week high of $273.78. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.86 billion, a PE ratio of 70.94, a P/E/G ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a quick ratio of 2.11, a current ratio of 2.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 23rd. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.25 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.34. West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 14.69% and a return on equity of 19.01%. The firm had revenue of $527.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $496.09 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.89 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that West Pharmaceutical Services will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 5th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 29th will be paid a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 28th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.24%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 19.75%.

In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, SVP David A. Montecalvo sold 14,508 shares of West Pharmaceutical Services stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $264.82, for a total value of $3,842,008.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,166,148.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Company insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Parallel Advisors LLC grew its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 54.9% during the second quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 127 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $28,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Signaturefd LLC grew its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 47.5% during the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 149 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $34,000 after buying an additional 48 shares during the period. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. grew its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 466.7% during the first quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 187 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $28,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the period. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. grew its position in West Pharmaceutical Services by 24.6% during the second quarter. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. now owns 208 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $47,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the period. Finally, Pearl River Capital LLC bought a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $37,000. Institutional investors own 90.59% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have issued reports on WST shares. Bank of America raised shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $280.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 21st. BofA Securities raised shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $280.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 21st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $219.00 target price on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Sunday, May 3rd.

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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