Benefitfocus (BNFT) Hits New 1-Year High Following Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Shares of Benefitfocus Inc (NASDAQ:BNFT) hit a new 52-week high on Friday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The company traded as high as $45.88 and last traded at $39.95, with a volume of 44068 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $36.00.

The software maker reported ($0.23) EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.28) by $0.05. The business had revenue of $61.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $59.91 million. Benefitfocus’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.06) EPS.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on BNFT. Raymond James upped their price target on Benefitfocus from $40.00 to $50.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 24th. BidaskClub lowered Benefitfocus from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. Guggenheim began coverage on Benefitfocus in a research note on Monday, August 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $45.00 price target on the stock. Chardan Capital upped their price target on Benefitfocus from $34.00 to $36.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.55.

In other Benefitfocus news, Director Francis J. Pelzer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.02, for a total value of $210,100.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 19,275 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $809,935.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Jonathon E. Dussault sold 4,045 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.81, for a total value of $148,896.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 10,045 shares of company stock worth $399,056 in the last three months. Insiders own 29.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Benefitfocus by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 115,895 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $3,895,000 after acquiring an additional 4,406 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its holdings in Benefitfocus by 776.0% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 735,496 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $24,713,000 after acquiring an additional 651,532 shares in the last quarter. Laurion Capital Management LP acquired a new position in Benefitfocus in the 2nd quarter valued at $2,242,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Benefitfocus by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 78,992 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $2,654,000 after acquiring an additional 3,648 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new position in Benefitfocus in the 2nd quarter valued at $284,000. Institutional investors own 93.26% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a market cap of $1.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -50.70 and a beta of 1.07.

Benefitfocus Company Profile (NASDAQ:BNFT)

Benefitfocus, Inc provides cloud-based benefits management platform for consumers, employers, insurance carriers, and brokers in the United States. It operates through Employer and Carrier segments. The company's products for insurance carriers include Marketplaces, which are online shopping environments; eEnrollment that provides online enrollment for benefits; eBilling, an electronic invoice presentment and payment solution; eExchange, a solution for communication; eSales for carriers and brokers to organize and manage accounts, track leads, generate quotes, and create proposals for products; and Core & Advanced Analytics, a data analytics solution.

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