Centene (NYSE:CNC) Raised to Outperform at Credit Suisse Group

Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Centene (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat reports. They currently have $88.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $86.00.

A number of other analysts also recently commented on CNC. Bank of America downgraded shares of Centene from a buy rating to a neutral rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $95.00 to $90.00 in a research report on Thursday, May 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Centene in a report on Thursday, May 26th. They issued an outperform rating and a $108.00 target price on the stock. Loop Capital began coverage on shares of Centene in a report on Thursday, June 16th. They issued a buy rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. StockNews.com began coverage on shares of Centene in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a strong-buy rating on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company cut their price target on shares of Centene from $96.00 to $95.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 25th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus price target of $92.44.

CNC stock opened at $83.64 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $48.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.19, a PEG ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 1.05 and a quick ratio of 1.05. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $82.22 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $82.36. Centene has a 1-year low of $59.67 and a 1-year high of $89.92.

Centene (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.83 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.68 by $0.15. Centene had a net margin of 1.12% and a return on equity of 11.82%. The company had revenue of $37.19 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.48 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.63 EPS. Centene’s revenue was up 24.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Centene will post 5.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Centene declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Friday, June 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $3.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 6.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Richard A. Gephardt sold 3,300 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.01, for a total value of $264,033.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 37,260 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,981,172.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Richard A. Gephardt sold 10,220 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.03, for a total transaction of $858,786.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 27,040 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,272,171.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 21,520 shares of company stock valued at $1,770,740. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the 4th quarter valued at $26,000. GHP Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Centene in the 1st quarter worth about $27,000. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV grew its holdings in shares of Centene by 269.3% in the 4th quarter. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV now owns 325 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,000 after purchasing an additional 237 shares during the last quarter. Chilton Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Centene in the 4th quarter worth about $28,000. Finally, Hanson & Doremus Investment Management bought a new stake in shares of Centene in the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. Institutional investors own 92.32% of the company’s stock.

Centene Company Profile (Get Rating)

Centene Corporation operates as a multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. Its Managed Care segment offers health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State children's health insurance program, long-term services and support, foster care, and medicare-medicaid plans, which cover dually eligible individuals, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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