Centene Corp (CNC) Receives $77.23 Average Target Price from Brokerages

Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) has earned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty-one research firms that are presently covering the stock. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and sixteen have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average twelve-month price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $77.23.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the company. Barclays PLC raised their price objective on Centene Corp from $75.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 8th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Centene Corp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 16th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $85.00 price objective on shares of Centene Corp in a report on Saturday, March 11th. Jefferies Group LLC raised their price objective on Centene Corp from $67.00 to $79.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 8th. Finally, Leerink Swann restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $64.00 price objective (up previously from $62.00) on shares of Centene Corp in a report on Thursday, February 9th.

In related news, CFO Jeffrey A. Schwaneke sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.52, for a total transaction of $137,040.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Jesse N. Hunter sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.54, for a total value of $347,700.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its stake in shares of Centene Corp by 45.0% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 16,730,264 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,120,258,000 after buying an additional 5,194,394 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Centene Corp by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,950,022 shares of the company’s stock worth $392,749,000 after buying an additional 266,208 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in shares of Centene Corp by 3.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,472,373 shares of the company’s stock worth $299,470,000 after buying an additional 129,837 shares during the last quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Centene Corp by 1.9% in the third quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC now owns 4,195,035 shares of the company’s stock worth $280,899,000 after buying an additional 78,275 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Centene Corp by 4.0% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,433,282 shares of the company’s stock worth $229,892,000 after buying an additional 133,154 shares during the last quarter. 94.14% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) opened at 67.72 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $68.60 and a 200-day moving average of $63.27. The company has a market capitalization of $11.65 billion, a PE ratio of 19.75 and a beta of 0.69. Centene Corp has a 12-month low of $50.00 and a 12-month high of $75.57.

Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 7th. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.11 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $11.91 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.94 billion. Centene Corp had a return on equity of 12.83% and a net margin of 1.37%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 89.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.95 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Centene Corp will post $4.69 earnings per share for the current year.

About Centene Corp

Centene Corporation is a healthcare company. The Company provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. The Company operates through two segments: Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Company’s Managed Care segment provides health plan coverage to individuals, through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Long Term Care, Foster Care, dual-eligible individuals (Duals) and the Supplemental Security Income Program, also known as the Aged, Blind or Disabled Program (ABD), Medicare, and Health Insurance Marketplace.

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