Cerner (CERN) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, January 9th. The brokerage currently has a $79.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 8.37% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Cerner has had an impressive run on the bourses in the last year. We believe that the company has growth opportunities in the revenue cycle management (RCM), Population Health and ambulatory markets based on its product strength and enviable track record of adding new clients. Solid growth in the HealtheIntent platform also holds promise. Additionally, a growing percentage of higher margin software in the business mix is expected to drive margins. The company performed impressively in the ambulatory and small hospital markets lately. However, Cerner has been facing macroeconomic challenges lately. Unfavorable political scenario and expensive valuation may add to worries. In recent times, Cerner’s System sales witnessed a major deterioration owing to a decline in technology resale. Furthermore, the HCIT market is highly competitive, which exerts considerable pressure on both pricing and margins.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on CERN. Cantor Fitzgerald increased their price target on shares of Cerner to $83.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Citigroup initiated coverage on shares of Cerner in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Cerner in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. BidaskClub cut shares of Cerner from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Cerner in a research note on Thursday, November 30th. Sixteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. Cerner presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $69.83.

Shares of Cerner (CERN) traded up $0.26 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $72.90. 1,750,700 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,539,311. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 2.77 and a quick ratio of 2.75. The company has a market capitalization of $24,230.00, a PE ratio of 36.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 0.94. Cerner has a 1 year low of $50.33 and a 1 year high of $73.86.

Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $1.28 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. Cerner had a return on equity of 18.03% and a net margin of 13.37%. Cerner’s quarterly revenue was up 7.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.59 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Cerner will post 2.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Chairman Clifford W. Illig sold 4,000 shares of Cerner stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.96, for a total transaction of $263,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 1,229,719 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $81,112,265.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Clifford W. Illig sold 530,000 shares of Cerner stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.54, for a total transaction of $34,736,200.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 1,229,719 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $80,595,783.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 788,000 shares of company stock worth $52,190,800 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 13.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Cerner by 56.2% during the 4th quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 60,482 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,076,000 after buying an additional 21,749 shares during the period. Skylands Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Cerner in the 4th quarter worth about $337,000. Atria Investments LLC raised its stake in Cerner by 13.1% in the 4th quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 12,132 shares of the company’s stock worth $818,000 after purchasing an additional 1,407 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in Cerner by 4.4% in the 4th quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 95,102 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,409,000 after purchasing an additional 3,980 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Acropolis Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Cerner by 91.6% in the 4th quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 8,134 shares of the company’s stock worth $548,000 after purchasing an additional 3,889 shares in the last quarter. 81.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Cerner Company Profile

Cerner Corporation (Cerner) is a supplier of healthcare information technology (HCIT). The Company offers a range of intelligent solutions and services that support the clinical, financial and operational needs of organizations of all sizes. The Company’s segments include Domestic and Global. The Domestic segment includes revenue contributions and expenditures associated with business activity in the United States.

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