Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) – Research analysts at SunTrust Banks upped their Q4 2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Express Scripts in a report issued on Thursday, according to Zacks Investment Research. SunTrust Banks analyst D. Macdonald now anticipates that the company will post earnings of $2.10 per share for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $2.07. SunTrust Banks has a “Buy” rating and a $86.00 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Express Scripts’ Q2 2018 earnings at $1.90 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $2.09 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $2.31 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $7.78 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $2.09 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $2.26 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $8.44 EPS.
Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.90 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.90. The company had revenue of $24.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $25.68 billion. Express Scripts had a return on equity of 25.46% and a net margin of 3.64%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.74 earnings per share.
A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on ESRX. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on Express Scripts in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $68.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded Express Scripts from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. UBS Group lowered Express Scripts from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Raymond James Financial restated an “underperform” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Express Scripts from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $76.52.
Shares of Express Scripts (ESRX) traded down $0.26 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $80.09. The stock had a trading volume of 5,054,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,330,000. The company has a market capitalization of $45,510.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.30, a P/E/G ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a current ratio of 0.73. Express Scripts has a one year low of $55.80 and a one year high of $81.04.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its holdings in shares of Express Scripts by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 7,116,445 shares of the company’s stock valued at $454,314,000 after acquiring an additional 97,953 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Express Scripts by 5.1% during the 3rd quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 506,511 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,072,000 after acquiring an additional 24,728 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its holdings in shares of Express Scripts by 25.3% during the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 708,955 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,260,000 after acquiring an additional 143,163 shares in the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Express Scripts by 81.8% during the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 112,666 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,192,000 after acquiring an additional 50,707 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Express Scripts by 12.5% during the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 35,421 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,243,000 after acquiring an additional 3,940 shares in the last quarter. 88.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other Express Scripts news, CEO Timothy C. Wentworth bought 8,000 shares of Express Scripts stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were purchased at an average price of $61.13 per share, with a total value of $489,040.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 98,628 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,029,129.64. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Christine Houston sold 10,104 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total value of $708,088.32. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 87,400 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,124,992. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 14,195 shares of company stock worth $1,010,240. Company insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.
Express Scripts announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan 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 plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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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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