Morgan Stanley Cuts Centene (NYSE:CNC) Price Target to $79.00

Centene (NYSE:CNC) had its price target trimmed by Morgan Stanley from $88.00 to $79.00 in a research report report published on Tuesday morning, PriceTargets.com reports. The brokerage currently has an overweight rating on the stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on Centene in a report on Friday, July 9th. They issued a buy rating and a $90.00 price target for the company. Mizuho reduced their price target on Centene from $75.00 to $67.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 8th. Wells Fargo & Company cut their price objective on Centene from $93.00 to $88.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, August 3rd. Seaport Res Ptn restated a buy rating on shares of Centene in a research note on Friday, July 9th. Finally, Bank of America upped their price objective on Centene from $75.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 8th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $81.89.

Shares of NYSE CNC opened at $60.80 on Tuesday. Centene has a 1-year low of $53.60 and a 1-year high of $75.59. The business has a 50-day moving average of $67.26 and a 200-day moving average of $67.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 1.08 and a quick ratio of 1.08. The company has a market capitalization of $35.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 49.84, a PEG ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.46.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 26th. The company reported $1.25 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.41 by ($0.16). The business had revenue of $31.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.11 billion. Centene had a net margin of 0.61% and a return on equity of 10.39%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.40 EPS. Research analysts expect that Centene will post 5.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Orlando Ayala sold 9,366 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total value of $655,620.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Brent D. Layton sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total value of $280,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Forsta AP Fonden raised its holdings in Centene by 42.6% during the first quarter. Forsta AP Fonden now owns 135,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,679,000 after buying an additional 40,600 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC grew its position in Centene by 2.2% during the first quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 93,226 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,958,000 after buying an additional 1,977 shares in the last quarter. Edmond DE Rothschild Holding S.A. grew its position in Centene by 38.1% during the first quarter. Edmond DE Rothschild Holding S.A. now owns 628,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $40,152,000 after buying an additional 173,170 shares in the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC grew its position in Centene by 29.6% during the second quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 125,098 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,123,000 after buying an additional 28,581 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. grew its position in Centene by 14.1% during the first quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 190,402 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,169,000 after buying an additional 23,529 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.75% of the company’s stock.

About Centene

Centene Corp. operates as a healthcare enterprise, which engages in the provision of programs and services to government sponsored healthcare programs. It operates through the following segments: Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Medicaid Managed Care segment provides health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs through Medicaid.

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