Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has $271.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Shares of WellCare Health have outperformed its industry year to date. Moreover, it has witnessed 2018 and 2019 earnings estimates move north over the last 30 days. The company’s revenues have been growing since 2006, driven by an increase in membership. Its organic growth is well complemented with accretive acquisitions. A raise in earnings guidance instills investor’s confidence in the company. However, the company’s rising debt level, having induced high interest expenses, hurts the bottom line. A continuous increase in total expenses also weighs on its margins.”
A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on WCG. ValuEngine downgraded shares of WellCare Health Plans from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, November 20th. Barclays reissued a buy rating and set a $338.00 price target on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Friday, September 28th. Cantor Fitzgerald increased their price target on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $292.00 to $330.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday, September 17th. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. They set an outperform rating and a $365.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $330.00 to $350.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, September 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. WellCare Health Plans currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $303.60.
NYSE WCG traded down $2.77 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $242.01. 7,092 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,156,159. WellCare Health Plans has a 1 year low of $187.06 and a 1 year high of $324.99. The company has a market capitalization of $12.12 billion, a PE ratio of 28.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 1.32 and a current ratio of 1.32.
WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The company reported $3.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.09 by $0.24. WellCare Health Plans had a net margin of 2.38% and a return on equity of 15.45%. The firm had revenue of $5.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.06 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $4.08 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that WellCare Health Plans will post 11.01 EPS for the current year.
In other news, EVP Yount Michael sold 500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $263.38, for a total value of $131,690.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,044 shares in the company, valued at $1,855,248.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Richard C. Breon sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $239.96, for a total transaction of $599,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 6,406 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,537,183.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 7,647 shares of company stock worth $1,924,167. Insiders own 0.59% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. raised its position in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 3,977.8% in the third quarter. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. now owns 367 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 358 shares during the last quarter. Private Capital Group LLC raised its position in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 234.0% in the third quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 234 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC raised its position in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 100.0% in the third quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB acquired a new stake in shares of WellCare Health Plans in the third quarter valued at about $173,000. Finally, Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC acquired a new stake in shares of WellCare Health Plans in the third quarter valued at about $176,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.53% of the company’s stock.
About WellCare Health Plans
WellCare Health Plans, Inc provides managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs. It operates through three segments: Medicaid Health Plans, Medicare Health Plans, and Medicare PDPs. The Medicaid Health Plans segment offers plans for beneficiaries of temporary assistance for needy families, supplemental security income, and aged blind and disabled residents; and other state-based programs, such as children's health insurance programs and long-term services and supports for qualifying families who are not eligible for Medicaid.
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