Humana Inc. (HUM) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Humana is well poised to grow on its strong government business. Its top-line has been witnessing an uptrend from past many years. Sufficient generation of cash flow has helped the company take up several capital deployment initiatives aimed at enhancing shareholders’ value. Humana’s sound balance sheet and disciplined capital management remains a positive.  Following its strong second-quarter 2017 results, it raised its 2017 adjusted EPS guidance. The company has also seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year earnings being revised upward in last 30 days. Although the shares have performed in line with the industry in a year's time, its strong fundamentals are likely to help the stock in gaining momentum going forward. However, the company's individual commercial business has remained a drag over past few years. The company will release third quarter results on Nov 8, 2017.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on Humana in a research note on Monday. They issued an outperform rating and a $300.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and set a $257.00 price target on shares of Humana in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a hold rating and set a $245.00 price target on shares of Humana in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. ValuEngine cut Humana from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co cut Humana from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $253.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. Humana presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $253.90.

Humana (NYSE:HUM) traded up 0.74% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $242.20. 597,958 shares of the company were exchanged. Humana has a one year low of $165.03 and a one year high of $259.76. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $247.41 and its 200-day moving average price is $235.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $35.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.92 and a beta of 0.86.

Humana (NYSE:HUM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The insurance provider reported $3.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.08 by $0.41. Humana had a return on equity of 15.85% and a net margin of 3.37%. The business had revenue of $13.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.61 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $2.30 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Humana will post $11.57 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 29th were paid a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 28th. Humana’s payout ratio is 13.06%.

In related news, CEO Bruce D. Broussard sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $251.88, for a total value of $3,022,560.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 80,086 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,172,061.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Elizabeth D. Bierbower sold 9,786 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $259.00, for a total value of $2,534,574.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 18,042 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,672,878. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 55,595 shares of company stock valued at $14,133,706 in the last ninety days. 0.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HUM. WFG Advisors LP lifted its stake in Humana by 4.5% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 469 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $113,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares during the period. Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in Humana in the second quarter worth $120,000. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. lifted its stake in Humana by 22.1% in the second quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. now owns 519 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $125,000 after acquiring an additional 94 shares during the period. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new stake in Humana in the first quarter worth $128,000. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. lifted its stake in Humana by 139.5% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 558 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $134,000 after acquiring an additional 325 shares during the period. 95.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Humana

Humana Inc is a health and well-being company. The Company’s segments include Retail, Group and Specialty, Healthcare Services and Individual Commercial. The Retail segment consists of Medicare benefits, as well as individual commercial fully insured medical and specialty health insurance benefits, including dental, vision, and other supplemental health and financial protection products.

Analyst Recommendations for Humana (NYSE:HUM)

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