Centene Corporation (CNC) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $107.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 11.48% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, Centene’s shares have outperformed the industry. The company’s strong and consistent performance is likely to have generated confidence among the investors. It has seen substantial inorganic growth in the last five years. The acquisition of Health Net in 2016 bolstered the company’s growth, expansion and asset base. Its solid financial position provides a major boost to its capital deployment initiatives. The company’s strong Managed care segment also contributes to its strong results. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year being revised upward by 3.4% in the last 60 days.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on CNC. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $94.00 price target on shares of Centene Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $111.00 price target (up previously from $95.00) on shares of Centene Corporation in a research note on Thursday. BidaskClub raised shares of Centene Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on shares of Centene Corporation from $80.00 to $89.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Centene Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $92.24.

Shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE CNC) opened at 95.98 on Friday. Centene Corporation has a 52 week low of $50.00 and a 52 week high of $98.72. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $85.97 and a 200 day moving average of $78.02. The company has a market cap of $16.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.06 and a beta of 0.63.

Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.59 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.29. Centene Corporation had a net margin of 1.72% and a return on equity of 14.62%. The business had revenue of $11.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.69 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.29 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Centene Corporation will post $4.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Centene Corporation news, EVP Christopher D. Bowers sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.43, for a total transaction of $317,720.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert K. Ditmore sold 4,167 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.59, for a total transaction of $344,152.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 43,167 shares of company stock worth $3,470,973. 3.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CNC. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Centene Corporation by 3,408.1% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,510,470 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,105,275,000 after purchasing an additional 15,068,340 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Centene Corporation by 318.6% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 3,504,359 shares of the company’s stock valued at $279,882,000 after purchasing an additional 2,667,189 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Centene Corporation by 271.2% in the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,799,160 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,208,000 after purchasing an additional 1,314,514 shares in the last quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Centene Corporation by 1,534.7% in the 1st quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,369,670 shares of the company’s stock valued at $97,603,000 after purchasing an additional 1,285,885 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AJO LP acquired a new stake in shares of Centene Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at $100,314,000. Institutional investors own 92.26% of the company’s stock.

Centene Corporation Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC)

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