American International Group Inc. decreased its stake in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) by 3.7% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 148,136 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock after selling 5,681 shares during the period. American International Group Inc.’s holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services were worth $13,079,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in WST. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 75.8% during the 4th quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 2,042,166 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $201,500,000 after buying an additional 880,636 shares in the last quarter. TCW Group Inc. lifted its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 127.0% during the 4th quarter. TCW Group Inc. now owns 715,727 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $70,621,000 after buying an additional 400,459 shares in the last quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. bought a new stake in West Pharmaceutical Services during the 4th quarter valued at about $39,036,000. William Blair Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 43.2% during the 4th quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 1,272,407 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $125,548,000 after buying an additional 383,646 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in West Pharmaceutical Services by 5.8% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,230,224 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $614,734,000 after buying an additional 341,999 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.70% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CFO William J. Federici sold 52,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.14, for a total value of $4,531,280.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 247,019 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,525,235.66. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:WST opened at $88.85 on Thursday. West Pharmaceutical Services has a one year low of $89.33 and a one year high of $90.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15, a current ratio of 2.82 and a quick ratio of 2.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.63 billion, a PE ratio of 31.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.92 and a beta of 1.12.

West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.02). West Pharmaceutical Services had a net margin of 8.20% and a return on equity of 14.40%. The business had revenue of $415.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $403.87 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.60 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that West Pharmaceutical Services will post 2.81 earnings per share for the current year.

West Pharmaceutical Services announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 15th that allows the company to repurchase 800,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the medical instruments supplier to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 18th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 17th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.63%. West Pharmaceutical Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.14%.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on WST shares. Goldman Sachs started coverage on shares of West Pharmaceutical Services in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $110.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 price objective for the company in a report on Saturday, February 3rd. Bank of America lowered shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $85.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of West Pharmaceutical Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, April 7th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $106.00.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile

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, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST)

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