Humana (HUM) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Humana (NYSE:HUM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The firm currently has a $326.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 10.90% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Humana have outperformed the industry year to date. The insurer is well-poised for growth on its strong government business. Its top line has been witnessing an uptrend for the past several years. Sufficient generation of cash flow has helped the company take up many capital deployment initiatives aimed at enhancing its shareholders’ value. Humana’s sound balance sheet and a disciplined capital management remain major tailwinds. Following better-than-expected first-quarter results, the company provided a strong guidance for 2018. Also, the company has exited the individual commercial business effective Jan 1, 2018. Rising level of expenses persistently weighs on the bottom line. With respect to quarterly results, Humana’s first-quarter bottom line beat estimates on a favorable current-year medical utilization in Retail segment relative, lower tax rate and a positive impact of share buybacks.”

HUM has been the subject of several other research reports. JPMorgan Chase boosted their price target on shares of Humana from $253.00 to $271.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, February 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “buy” rating and issued a $313.00 price target on shares of Humana in a report on Wednesday, April 4th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “hold” rating and issued a $250.00 price target on shares of Humana in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Deutsche Bank boosted their price target on shares of Humana from $259.00 to $270.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 9th. Finally, Oppenheimer lifted their price objective on shares of Humana from $305.00 to $311.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 3rd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $280.00.

HUM traded up $1.09 on Monday, reaching $293.96. 5,686 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,002,561. Humana has a one year low of $223.40 and a one year high of $299.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $40.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.10, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 1.55.

Humana (NYSE:HUM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 2nd. The insurance provider reported $3.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.21 by $0.15. Humana had a net margin of 3.36% and a return on equity of 16.74%. The company had revenue of $14.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.22 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.75 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Humana will post 13.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Humana news, insider Heidi S. Margulis sold 20,621 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $285.90, for a total transaction of $5,895,543.90. Following the sale, the insider now owns 9,220 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,635,998. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Bruce D. Broussard sold 14,075 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $274.32, for a total transaction of $3,861,054.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 113,896 shares in the company, valued at approximately $31,243,950.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 69,885 shares of company stock worth $19,601,498. 0.60% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Synovus Financial Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Humana in the 1st quarter valued at $100,000. Certified Advisory Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Humana in the 4th quarter valued at $109,000. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. boosted its holdings in shares of Humana by 448.7% in the 1st quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 417 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after acquiring an additional 341 shares during the last quarter. American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Humana in the 4th quarter valued at $122,000. Finally, YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Humana by 99.0% in the 4th quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 597 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $159,000 after acquiring an additional 297 shares during the last quarter. 93.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Humana

Humana Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a health and well-being company in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Retail; Group and Specialty; Healthcare Services; and Individual Commercial. The Retail segment offers Medicare and supplemental benefit plans to individuals or through group accounts.

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