West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) Brief Interest Update

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST – Get a rating) benefited from a significant drop in short-term interest rates during the month of April. As of April 30, there was short interest totaling 983,400 shares, down 14.5% from the April 15 total of 1,150,000 shares. About 1.3% of the stock’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume of 423,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. William Blair reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a Tuesday, February 22, research note. StockNews.com cut shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a Thursday, April 28 research note.

In other West Pharmaceutical Services news, Vice President Quintin J. Lai sold 8,016 shares of the company in a trade on Monday, March 14. The shares were sold at an average price of $371.69, for a total transaction of $2,979,467.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, available at this hyperlink. Insiders hold 0.60% of the shares of the company.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their positions in the company. Bell Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the third quarter worth approximately $25,000. Monolith Advisors acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the fourth quarter worth approximately $29,000. Allworth Financial LP increased its equity stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 140.0% during the first quarter. Allworth Financial LP now owns 72 shares of the medical device supplier worth $30,000 after buying 42 additional shares during the period. Addison Advisors LLC increased its equity stake in West Pharmaceutical Services by 221.7% during the first quarter. Addison Advisors LLC now owns 74 shares of the medical device supplier worth $30,000 after buying 51 additional shares during the period. Finally, Artemis Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services during the first quarter worth approximately $35,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors hold 93.25% of the company’s shares.

Shares of WST opened at $304.92 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 2.89, a quick ratio of 2.18 and a debt ratio of 0.09. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.88, a price-to-earnings growth ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 1.17. The company’s fifty-day simple moving average is $367.20 and its two-hundred-day simple moving average is $396.69. West Pharmaceutical Services has a 12-month low of $288.12 and a 12-month high of $475.35.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE: WST- Get a rating) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, April 28. The medical device supplier reported EPS of $2.30 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $2.18 by $0.12. The company posted revenue of $720.00 million for the quarter, compared to $720.92 million expected by analysts. West Pharmaceutical Services achieved a net margin of 23.76% and a return on equity of 30.33%. The company’s quarterly revenue increased by 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted earnings of $2.05 per share. As a group, research analysts predict that West Pharmaceutical Services will post EPS of 9.34 for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 3. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 20 will receive a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 19. This represents a dividend of $0.72 on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.24%. West Pharmaceutical Services’ dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 8.00%.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile (Get a rating)

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. designs, manufactures and sells containment and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. It operates in two segments, Proprietary Products and Contract Manufactured Products.

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