Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, July 4th.
According to Zacks, “Centene rigorously suffers from continuously rising level of debt that result in increasing borrowing cost which again keeps draining the bottom line. In addition, steep increase in acquisition related expenses as well as the regulatory uncertainty from thechange of presidency are major concerns. However, the company has seen substantial inorganic growth in the last five years. The acquisition of Health Net in 2016 which boosted the company’s growth, expansion and asset base, is worth a mention here. This apart, its solid financial position provides a major boost to its capital deployment initiatives. The company’s strong Managed care segment also impresses. Well evident of all these tailwinds, year to date, the stock rallied 42%, outpacing 20% gain of the Zacks HMO industry. The company’s strong and consistent performance is likely to have generated confidence among the investors.”
CNC has been the topic of several other reports. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an overweight rating and issued a $85.00 target price on shares of Centene Corporation in a report on Saturday, March 11th. Deutsche Bank AG initiated coverage on Centene Corporation in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. They issued a buy rating and a $84.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $85.00 target price (up from $83.00) on shares of Centene Corporation in a report on Saturday, April 29th. Citigroup Inc. cut Centene Corporation from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $73.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Thursday, March 23rd. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co cut Centene Corporation from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $75.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, May 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $86.82.
Shares of Centene Corporation (CNC) traded up 1.87% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $82.69. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,214,917 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average of $81.36 and a 200 day moving average of $73.20. Centene Corporation has a 12-month low of $50.00 and a 12-month high of $87.94. The company has a market cap of $14.26 billion, a PE ratio of 18.15 and a beta of 0.68.
Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.29. Centene Corporation had a return on equity of 14.62% and a net margin of 1.72%. The business had revenue of $11.95 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.69 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.29 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 9.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Centene Corporation will post $4.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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In other Centene Corporation news, SVP Mark J. Brooks sold 2,161 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.43, for a total transaction of $163,004.23. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jesse N. Hunter sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.40, for a total value of $372,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 54,578 shares of company stock valued at $4,319,037 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CNC. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Centene Corporation by 3,408.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,510,470 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,105,275,000 after buying an additional 15,068,340 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Centene Corporation during the fourth quarter worth about $93,255,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in shares of Centene Corporation by 271.2% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,799,160 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,208,000 after buying an additional 1,314,514 shares during the last quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Centene Corporation by 1,534.7% in the first quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,369,670 shares of the company’s stock worth $97,603,000 after buying an additional 1,285,885 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Centene Corporation by 108.0% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 2,088,867 shares of the company’s stock worth $148,853,000 after buying an additional 1,084,628 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.51% of the company’s stock.
About Centene Corporation
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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