Express Scripts (ESRX) Coverage Initiated at Evercore ISI
Stock analysts at Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) in a research note issued on Thursday. The brokerage set an “in-line” rating and a $78.00 price target on the stock. Evercore ISI’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 2.62% from the company’s previous close.
A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on ESRX. BidaskClub raised Express Scripts from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. SunTrust Banks set a $86.00 price objective on Express Scripts and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on Express Scripts and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $80.00 price objective on Express Scripts and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 15th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Express Scripts currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.84.
Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) opened at $76.01 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $43,090.00, a P/E ratio of 12.63, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.87. Express Scripts has a one year low of $55.80 and a one year high of $76.37.
Express Scripts announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Monday, December 18th that permits the company to buyback 45,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, VP Christine Houston sold 10,104 shares of Express Scripts stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total transaction of $708,088.32. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 87,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,124,992. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Timothy C. Wentworth purchased 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $61.13 per share, with a total value of $489,040.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 98,628 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,029,129.64. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 14,195 shares of company stock valued at $1,010,240. 0.68% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Burt Wealth Advisors raised its holdings in Express Scripts by 11.4% in the 2nd quarter. Burt Wealth Advisors now owns 1,696 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. acquired a new position in Express Scripts in the 3rd quarter valued at $120,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its holdings in Express Scripts by 199.1% in the 2nd quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,103 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after acquiring an additional 1,400 shares in the last quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI raised its holdings in Express Scripts by 74.8% in the 3rd quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,266 shares of the company’s stock valued at $156,000 after acquiring an additional 970 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. raised its holdings in Express Scripts by 49.3% in the 2nd quarter. Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. now owns 2,797 shares of the company’s stock valued at $179,000 after acquiring an additional 924 shares in the last quarter. 88.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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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