Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday. They currently have $113.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Express Scripts has outperformed the industry in the past year.  The company has been gaining from strong performance by the core PBM unit. Developments in the company’s Inside Rx program also buoy optimism. Further, its recently-acquired eviCore's complementary medical-benefit solutions are likely to build a comprehensive PBM solution worldwide. Introduction of Flex Formulary and myDataSense by the company are positive developments. The company is also getting acquired by Cigna by December 2018. However, Express Scripts currently faces persistent drug pricing issue. Express Scripts announced that its biggest customer and leading health insurer Anthem is not likely to extend the PBM agreement with the company anymore. Furthermore, the company has currently suspended share repurchase program because of the merger agreement with Cigna. Express Scripts has not provided any guidance for 2018.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on ESRX. BidaskClub raised Express Scripts from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. ValuEngine raised Express Scripts from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, September 17th. Credit Suisse Group downgraded Express Scripts from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $90.00 to $96.50 in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. Mizuho set a $101.00 price objective on Express Scripts and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, November 5th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on Express Scripts to $94.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Monday, August 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Express Scripts currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $92.14.

NASDAQ ESRX opened at $95.85 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $55.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.50, a PEG ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.77 and a quick ratio of 0.65. Express Scripts has a 1-year low of $66.93 and a 1-year high of $101.73.

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.43 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.42 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $25.56 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.11 billion. Express Scripts had a return on equity of 25.43% and a net margin of 4.83%. Express Scripts’s revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.51 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Express Scripts will post 9.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Mahon Thomas P. Mac sold 5,234 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.50, for a total value of $520,783.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group boosted its holdings in Express Scripts by 29.7% in the third quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 529 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,000 after purchasing an additional 121 shares in the last quarter. Landaas & Co. WI ADV purchased a new stake in Express Scripts in the second quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Adviser Investments LLC lifted its stake in Express Scripts by 321.9% in the second quarter. Adviser Investments LLC now owns 1,481 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 1,130 shares during the last quarter. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors purchased a new stake in Express Scripts in the third quarter valued at approximately $115,000. Finally, Sun Life Financial INC lifted its stake in Express Scripts by 758.8% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,520 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 1,343 shares during the last quarter. 85.02% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Express Scripts

Express Scripts Holding Company operates as a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company in the United States and Canada. The company's PBM segment offers clinical solutions; and specialized pharmacy care, home delivery and specialty pharmacy, retail network pharmacy administration, benefit design consultation, drug utilization review, drug formulary management, public exchange, administration of group purchasing organization, and digital consumer health and drug information services.

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