Express Scripts Holding Company (ESRX) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Express Scripts’ fourth-quarter 2016 results were mixed, wherein adjusted earnings topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate, revenues beat the same. In the past three months, the company has underperformed the broader industry with respect to price performance. While the company’s guidance for 2017 was encouraging, tough competition in the Pharmacy Benefit Management space and the persistent drug pricing issue are expected to affect the share price. Express Scripts stands to benefit from increased generic utilization, shift toward mail orders, strong specialty growth and an aging population. The company is focused on the development of both specialty drugs and generics, which are expected to account for 50% of the total drug expenditure by 2018. Further, its SafeGuardRx suite of products is designed to better manage specialty spend in turn, establishing a higher standard for patient outcomes.”

ESRX has been the topic of a number of other reports. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of Express Scripts Holding Company from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $69.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Thursday, November 3rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 price objective on shares of Express Scripts Holding Company in a report on Friday, October 28th. Leerink Swann reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Express Scripts Holding Company in a report on Friday, December 16th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Express Scripts Holding Company in a report on Wednesday, November 2nd. Finally, Mizuho reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $76.00 price target on shares of Express Scripts Holding Company in a report on Friday, December 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Express Scripts Holding Company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $78.31.

Analyst Recommendations for Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX)

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Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) traded down 0.92% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $68.82. 58,477 shares of the stock traded hands. Express Scripts Holding Company has a one year low of $64.46 and a one year high of $80.02. The company has a market cap of $41.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.77 and a beta of 0.92. The company’s 50 day moving average is $69.85 and its 200-day moving average is $71.82.

Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 14th. The company reported $1.88 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.87 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $24.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $26.31 billion. Express Scripts Holding Company had a net margin of 2.70% and a return on equity of 24.99%. Express Scripts Holding Company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.56 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Express Scripts Holding Company will post $6.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Express Scripts Holding Company news, VP Everett Neville sold 1,123 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.41, for a total transaction of $77,947.43. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 12,712 shares in the company, valued at approximately $882,339.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.54% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Capital Analysts LLC raised its stake in Express Scripts Holding Company by 15.2% in the fourth quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 1,777 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 235 shares during the period. Independent Advisor Alliance bought a new stake in Express Scripts Holding Company during the fourth quarter valued at about $124,000. Oakworth Capital Inc. raised its stake in Express Scripts Holding Company by 0.6% in the third quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 1,802 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Integrated Wealth Management raised its stake in Express Scripts Holding Company by 4.2% in the second quarter. Integrated Wealth Management now owns 1,845 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the period. Finally, SRB Corp raised its stake in Express Scripts Holding Company by 6.4% in the third quarter. SRB Corp now owns 2,038 shares of the company’s stock valued at $144,000 after buying an additional 123 shares during the period. 85.36% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Express Scripts Holding Company

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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