Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Monday, October 16th. The brokerage currently has $64.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “We are upbeat about Express Scripts’ pharmacy-benefits management long-term outlook. The projection takes the volatile healthcare market trends, inflation, patent expiration and lower industry utilization growth into consideration. Furthermore, Express Scripts should benefit from increased generic utilization, shift toward mail orders, strong specialty growth and an aging population. Branded drugs are becoming increasingly expensive due to double-digit brand inflation. Thus, continued rise in the price of specialty drugs and overwhelming regulatory burden is opening up considerable prospects for generics. However, over the past one year, Express Scripts has underperformed the broader industry in terms of price. Tough competition in the niche space and the persistent drug pricing issue are anticipated to affect the stock.”

ESRX has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Jefferies Group LLC set a $72.00 target price on shares of Express Scripts Holding and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. UBS AG cut shares of Express Scripts Holding from a market perform rating to an underperform rating in a report on Monday, October 9th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reiterated an underperform rating on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Needham & Company LLC started coverage on shares of Express Scripts Holding in a research note on Friday, July 21st. They issued a hold rating on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Express Scripts Holding from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Express Scripts Holding presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $69.56.

Shares of Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) traded up 5.53% on Monday, reaching $62.19. 9,086,110 shares of the company traded hands. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $61.07 and its 200-day moving average price is $61.95. The stock has a market capitalization of $35.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.79 and a beta of 0.88. Express Scripts Holding has a one year low of $55.80 and a one year high of $77.50.

Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.90 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.90. Express Scripts Holding had a net margin of 3.64% and a return on equity of 25.46%. The business had revenue of $24.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $25.68 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.74 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Express Scripts Holding will post $7.00 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Express Scripts Holding news, VP Phyllis S. Anderson sold 578 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $36,489.14. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 10,530 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $664,758.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Everett Neville sold 1,163 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.48, for a total value of $71,501.24. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 18,232 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,120,903.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 5,641 shares of company stock worth $357,317 in the last three months. 0.68% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 1.6% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 40,251,311 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,652,964,000 after purchasing an additional 649,400 shares during the last quarter. Dodge & Cox lifted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding 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 during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 27,060,709 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,783,569,000 after purchasing an additional 298,341 shares during the last quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC lifted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 17,612,834 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,160,862,000 after purchasing an additional 704,218 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Express Scripts Holding by 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 11,880,919 shares of the company’s stock valued at $758,480,000 after purchasing an additional 922,406 shares during the last quarter. 88.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Express Scripts Holding Company Profile

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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