Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) was downgraded by equities research analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday, February 2nd.
A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on ESRX. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Express Scripts in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Robert W. Baird raised shares of Express Scripts from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $72.00 to $81.00 in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Raymond James Financial reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Finally, Mizuho set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Express Scripts and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $78.23.
Express Scripts (ESRX) traded down $1.64 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $71.71. 8,612,201 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,260,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.61. Express Scripts has a fifty-two week low of $55.80 and a fifty-two week high of $83.49. The company has a market capitalization of $40,610.00, a PE ratio of 11.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.79 and a beta of 0.93.
Express Scripts announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Monday, December 18th that permits the company to buyback 45,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, VP Glen D. Stettin sold 3,448 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.00, for a total transaction of $262,048.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Glen D. Stettin sold 3,449 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.00, for a total value of $279,369.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 33,715 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,730,915. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 17,001 shares of company stock worth $1,249,505 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Dodge & Cox lifted its holdings in Express Scripts by 25.7% in the 2nd quarter. Dodge & Cox now owns 36,188,517 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,310,275,000 after purchasing an additional 7,388,021 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 11,880,919 shares of the company’s stock worth $758,480,000 after acquiring an additional 922,406 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 12.2% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 11,068,777 shares of the company’s stock worth $706,629,000 after acquiring an additional 1,206,980 shares during the last quarter. Veritas Asset Management LLP increased its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 5.6% in the 3rd quarter. Veritas Asset Management LLP now owns 8,652,910 shares of the company’s stock worth $547,902,000 after acquiring an additional 460,338 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 8.7% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,287,905 shares of the company’s stock worth $618,609,000 after acquiring an additional 666,754 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.86% of the company’s stock.
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About Express Scripts
Express Scripts, Inc is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company in North America, offering a range of services to its clients, which include health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, workers’ compensation plans and government health programs. It operates in two segments: PBM and Emerging Markets (EM).
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