West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE: WST) stock fell -0.21% on Wednesday to $228.06 against a previous-day closing price of $228.53. With 0.55 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 0.68 million shares. During the session, the Medical Instruments & Supplies company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $232.21 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $227.35. The 52-week range on WST shows that it touched its highest point at $475.00 and its lowest point at $206.19 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $295.00. With its current market cap of 16.65 billion, WST has annualized dividend of $0.76 while the current yield stands at 0.33%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.15.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of WST was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -5.01%, but this was down by -8.49% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -27.53% while six-month performance fell -23.67%. The stock lost -47.05% in the past year, while it has lost -51.37% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for WST yields 8.31 with Next year EPS estimates of 7.35. For the next quarter, that number is 1.37. This implies an EPS growth rate of 89.50% for this year and -10.03% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 27.20% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 35.20%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 74.40 million WST shares are outstanding with a float of 73.57 million shares on hand for trading. On Oct 13, 2022, short shares totaled 0.83 million, which was 1.12% higher than short shares on Sep 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Eric M. Green as the firm’s Chair, Pres & CEO, Mr. Bernard J. Birkett serves as its Sr. VP and Chief Financial & Operations Officer.
Through their ownership of 96.33% of WST’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 58.99% of WST, in contrast to 4.38% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 35.67%. As the largest shareholder in WST with 11.64% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 8,619,018 shares worth 8,619,018. A second-largest stockholder of WST, BlackRock Fund Advisors, holds 4,460,101 shares, controlling over 6.02% of the firm’s shares. T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in WST, holding 3,870,122 shares or 5.23% stake. With a 3.10% stake in WST, the Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP is the largest stakeholder. A total of 2,291,324 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 3.00% of WST stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 2,224,065 shares valued at 511.76 million. T Rowe Price New Horizons Fund holds 2.36% of the stake in WST, owning 1,746,785 shares worth 401.94 million.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for WST since 8 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 3 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 3 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 2 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With WST analysts setting a high price target of $350.00 and a low target of $206.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $264.20. Based on these targets, WST could surge 53.47% to reach the target high and fall by -9.67% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 15.85% from current levels.
EPS: Estimates vs Actual
It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. WST will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/16/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $8.20 being high and $8.15 being low. For WST, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $8.17. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. surprised analysts by -$0.09 when it reported $2.03 EPS against a consensus estimate of $2.12. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.26. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $1.40 and the low estimate is $1.34. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $1.37.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded WST stock several times over the past three months with 0 Buys and 1 Sells. In these transactions, 0 shares were bought while 47 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 20 while that of sell transactions has risen to 18 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 53,055 while 28,679 shares were sold.