Cowen Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Express Scripts (ESRX)

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reissued by equities researchers at Cowen in a report issued on Friday. They currently have a $88.00 target price on the stock. Cowen’s price objective suggests a potential downside of 9.03% from the company’s previous close.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on ESRX. Royal Bank of Canada set a $101.00 target price on Express Scripts and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Barclays increased their target price on Express Scripts from $83.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday. Maxim Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Thursday. Leerink Swann set a $100.00 target price on Express Scripts and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Credit Suisse Group downgraded Express Scripts from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the company from $90.00 to $96.50 in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Express Scripts has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $88.73.

Shares of ESRX opened at $96.74 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. Express Scripts has a 12 month low of $59.17 and a 12 month high of $98.98. The firm has a market cap of $53.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.63, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.01.

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.43 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.42 by $0.01. Express Scripts had a return on equity of 25.49% and a net margin of 4.65%. The business had revenue of $25.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.11 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.51 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Express Scripts will post 9.07 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, insider Christine Houston sold 12,898 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total value of $1,096,330.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 110,908 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,427,180. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ESRX. Abrams Capital Management L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Express Scripts in the 2nd quarter worth $204,846,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its position in Express Scripts by 124.5% during the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,971,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,196,000 after purchasing an additional 1,093,200 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its position in Express Scripts by 117.6% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,419,840 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,626,000 after purchasing an additional 767,426 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new position in Express Scripts during the second quarter valued at $54,695,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Express Scripts by 1.5% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 35,424,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,735,103,000 after purchasing an additional 538,578 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.74% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX)

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