Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) saw a large decrease in short interest in the month of December. As of December 15th, there was short interest totalling 28,815,988 shares, a decrease of 6.3% from the November 30th total of 30,738,576 shares. Approximately 5.1% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 5,119,365 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.6 days.
In related news, VP Christine Houston sold 10,104 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the vice president now owns 87,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,124,992. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Timothy C. Wentworth acquired 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $61.13 per share, for a total transaction of $489,040.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 98,628 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,029,129.64. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Burt Wealth Advisors grew its holdings in shares of 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. CKW Financial Group grew its holdings in shares of Express Scripts by 20.0% in the 2nd quarter. CKW Financial Group now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. bought a new position in shares of Express Scripts in the 3rd quarter valued at about $120,000. First Personal Financial Services grew its holdings in shares of 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. Finally, Monroe Bank & Trust MI grew its holdings in shares of 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. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.28% of the company’s stock.
Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.90. The firm had revenue of $24.68 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $25.68 billion. Express Scripts had a return on equity of 25.46% and a net margin of 3.64%. The company’s revenue was down 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.74 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Express Scripts will post 7.03 earnings per share for the current year.
Express Scripts declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, December 18th that permits the company to buyback 45,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
Several analysts recently commented on ESRX shares. 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 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine raised Express Scripts from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. UBS Group downgraded Express Scripts from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Raymond James Financial reaffirmed an “underperform” rating on shares of Express Scripts in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised 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 equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Express Scripts has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $74.65.
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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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