Premier (PINC) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Premier (NASDAQ:PINC) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday, March 14th.

According to Zacks, “Premier, Inc. operates as a healthcare alliance. The company brings together hospitals, health systems, physicians and other healthcare providers primarily in the United States. It also maintains clinical, financial and outcomes databases. Premier, Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. “

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A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on the company. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $38.00 price target on shares of Premier in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Benchmark initiated coverage on Premier in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. They set a buy rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. William Blair reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Premier in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Piper Jaffray reiterated a hold rating on shares of Premier in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Premier from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Premier presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $36.71.

NASDAQ:PINC traded down $0.53 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $31.26. The company had a trading volume of 417,903 shares, compared to its average volume of 465,871. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -0.01, a current ratio of 0.83 and a quick ratio of 0.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,241.70, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 0.49. Premier has a one year low of $27.16 and a one year high of $36.50.

Premier (NASDAQ:PINC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 5th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.02. Premier had a negative return on equity of 19.94% and a net margin of 14.14%. The business had revenue of $411.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $393.35 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.46 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Premier will post 2.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Premier news, Director Stephen R. D’arcy sold 3,967 shares of Premier stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.72, for a total value of $125,833.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 11,233 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $356,310.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Susan D. Devore sold 40,000 shares of Premier stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.47, for a total value of $1,298,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 373,176 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,117,024.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 55,394 shares of company stock valued at $1,815,003. 17.52% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of PINC. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new position in shares of Premier in the 4th quarter valued at $124,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its position in Premier by 7.8% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 4,373 shares of the company’s stock worth $157,000 after acquiring an additional 315 shares during the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB bought a new stake in Premier during the 4th quarter worth $207,000. American Century Companies Inc. bought a new stake in Premier during the 4th quarter worth $243,000. Finally, CIBC World Markets Inc. bought a new stake in Premier during the 4th quarter worth $303,000. Institutional investors own 42.91% of the company’s stock.

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About Premier

Premier, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a healthcare improvement company in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Supply Chain Services and Performance Services. The Supply Chain Services segment offers its members with access to a range of products and services, including medical and surgical products, pharmaceuticals, laboratory supplies, capital equipment, information technology, facilities and construction, and food and nutritional products, as well as purchased services, such as clinical engineering and document shredding services and software-as-a-service informatics products.

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