Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ESRX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $78.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 11.57% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Express Scripts stands to benefit from increased generic utilization, shift toward mail orders, strong specialty growth and an aging population. It is focused on the development of both specialty drugs and generics, which are expected to account for 50% of the total drug spend by 2018. The company’s SafeGuardRx suite of products is designed to better manage specialty spend, establishing a higher standard for patient outcomes. Demand for the company’s services continues to be solid, leading to an increase in expected client retention rates to the 96–98% band in 2017. Growth in the second half of 2016 should primarily be driven by higher utilization of the company’s cost savings programs along with generic launches. Estimates have remained mostly stable ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”
A number of other brokerages have also commented on ESRX. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on Express Scripts Holding from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Jefferies Group lowered their price objective on Express Scripts Holding from $98.00 to $88.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Mizuho increased their price objective on Express Scripts Holding from $77.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $82.00 price objective on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a report on Tuesday, June 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a report on Monday, June 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Express Scripts Holding has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $81.53.
Shares of Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) opened at 69.91 on Wednesday. Express Scripts Holding has a one year low of $65.55 and a one year high of $89.20. The stock has a market cap of $44.06 billion, a PE ratio of 17.27 and a beta of 1.16. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $72.31 and its 200-day moving average price is $73.75.
Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 25th. The company reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.57. The business had revenue of $25.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $25.42 billion. Express Scripts Holding had a return on equity of 23.98% and a net margin of 2.64%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.44 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Express Scripts Holding will post $6.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, VP Christopher A. Mcginnis sold 1,785 shares of Express Scripts Holding stock in a transaction on Monday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.77, for a total value of $126,324.45. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 4,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $350,665.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Woodrow A. Myers, Jr. sold 12,036 shares of Express Scripts Holding stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.40, for a total value of $847,334.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,918 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,050,227.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.54% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. boosted its stake in Express Scripts Holding by 20.9% in the second quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. now owns 1,503 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 260 shares during the period. Oakworth Capital Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 966.7% in the second quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 1,792 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 1,624 shares during the period. Integrated Wealth Management boosted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 4.2% in the second quarter. Integrated Wealth Management now owns 1,845 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the period. Tarbox Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 5.3% in the second quarter. Tarbox Group Inc. now owns 1,944 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 98 shares during the period. Finally, Alpha Windward LLC boosted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 30.7% in the second quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 1,988 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 467 shares during the period. 88.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
About Express Scripts Holding
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).