Benefitfocus (BNFT) Trading Up 4.2% on Analyst Upgrade

Benefitfocus Inc (NASDAQ:BNFT) shares were up 4.2% during mid-day trading on Monday after Wedbush raised their price target on the stock from $42.00 to $44.00. Wedbush currently has an outperform rating on the stock. Benefitfocus traded as high as $45.88 and last traded at $41.18. Approximately 9,010 shares were traded during mid-day trading, a decline of 97% from the average daily volume of 285,159 shares. The stock had previously closed at $39.53.

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on BNFT. Chardan Capital boosted their target price on Benefitfocus from $34.00 to $36.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd. BidaskClub raised Benefitfocus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. ValuEngine raised Benefitfocus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Raymond James upped their price objective on Benefitfocus from $40.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 24th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.73.

In related news, CFO Jonathon E. Dussault sold 4,045 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.81, for a total transaction of $148,896.45. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Francis J. Pelzer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on 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 directly owns 19,275 shares in the company, valued at approximately $809,935.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 10,045 shares of company stock worth $399,056 in the last ninety days. 29.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in Benefitfocus by 4.0% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 115,895 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $3,895,000 after purchasing an additional 4,406 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC grew its holdings in Benefitfocus by 776.0% in the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 735,496 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $24,713,000 after purchasing an additional 651,532 shares during the last quarter. Laurion Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in Benefitfocus in the second quarter valued at $2,242,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Benefitfocus by 4.8% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 78,992 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $2,654,000 after purchasing an additional 3,648 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new stake in Benefitfocus in the second quarter valued at $284,000. 93.26% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The firm has a market cap of $1.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -51.81 and a beta of 1.16.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The software maker reported ($0.23) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.28) by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $61.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $59.91 million. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted ($0.06) EPS. As a group, analysts expect that Benefitfocus Inc will post -1.21 EPS for the current year.

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About Benefitfocus (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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