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West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Just Beat Analyst Forecasts, And Analysts Have Been Updating Their Predictions

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) just released its latest first-quarter results and things are looking bullish. The company beat forecasts, with revenue of US$695m, some 3.5% above estimates, and statutory earnings per share (EPS) coming in at US$1.55, 23% ahead of expectations. This is an important time for investors, as they can track a company's performance in its report, look at what experts are forecasting for next year, and see if there has been any change to expectations for the business. Readers will be glad to know we've aggregated the latest statutory forecasts to see whether the analysts have changed their mind on West Pharmaceutical Services after the latest results.

Check out our latest analysis for West Pharmaceutical Services

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Taking into account the latest results, the most recent consensus for West Pharmaceutical Services from ten analysts is for revenues of US$3.01b in 2024. If met, it would imply a satisfactory 2.8% increase on its revenue over the past 12 months. Statutory earnings per share are forecast to reduce 2.3% to US$7.63 in the same period. Yet prior to the latest earnings, the analysts had been anticipated revenues of US$3.01b and earnings per share (EPS) of US$7.57 in 2024. So it's pretty clear that, although the analysts have updated their estimates, there's been no major change in expectations for the business following the latest results.

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There were no changes to revenue or earnings estimates or the price target of US$395, suggesting that the company has met expectations in its recent result. It could also be instructive to look at the range of analyst estimates, to evaluate how different the outlier opinions are from the mean. Currently, the most bullish analyst values West Pharmaceutical Services at US$470 per share, while the most bearish prices it at US$336. There are definitely some different views on the stock, but the range of estimates is not wide enough as to imply that the situation is unforecastable, in our view.

Another way we can view these estimates is in the context of the bigger picture, such as how the forecasts stack up against past performance, and whether forecasts are more or less bullish relative to other companies in the industry. We would highlight that West Pharmaceutical Services' revenue growth is expected to slow, with the forecast 3.8% annualised growth rate until the end of 2024 being well below the historical 12% p.a. growth over the last five years. Compare this against other companies (with analyst forecasts) in the industry, which are in aggregate expected to see revenue growth of 6.4% annually. So it's pretty clear that, while revenue growth is expected to slow down, the wider industry is also expected to grow faster than West Pharmaceutical Services.

The Bottom Line

The most important thing to take away is that there's been no major change in sentiment, with the analysts reconfirming that the business is performing in line with their previous earnings per share estimates. On the plus side, there were no major changes to revenue estimates; although forecasts imply they will perform worse than the wider industry. The consensus price target held steady at US$395, with the latest estimates not enough to have an impact on their price targets.

Following on from that line of thought, we think that the long-term prospects of the business are much more relevant than next year's earnings. At Simply Wall St, we have a full range of analyst estimates for West Pharmaceutical Services going out to 2026, and you can see them free on our platform here..

We also provide an overview of the West Pharmaceutical Services Board and CEO remuneration and length of tenure at the company, and whether insiders have been buying the stock, here.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.