Centene’s (NYSE:CNC) “Buy” Rating Reaffirmed at Cowen

Centene (NYSE:CNC)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reissued by analysts at Cowen in a report released on Sunday, March 31st, AnalystRatings.com reports. They currently have a $77.00 price objective on the stock. Cowen’s target price suggests a potential upside of 53.39% from the company’s current price.

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $76.00 price objective on shares of Centene in a report on Thursday, February 7th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered Centene from a “conviction-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, December 17th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and set a $72.50 price objective on shares of Centene in a report on Thursday, December 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised Centene from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, December 31st. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Centene from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, December 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $76.35.

Shares of CNC traded down $0.11 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $50.20. 7,127,314 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,360,734. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 1.00 and a quick ratio of 1.00. The company has a market capitalization of $19.92 billion, a PE ratio of 14.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.85 and a beta of 1.26. Centene has a 12-month low of $45.44 and a 12-month high of $74.49.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $1.39 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.32 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $18.44 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $17.44 billion. Centene had a return on equity of 14.10% and a net margin of 1.50%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 39.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.17 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Centene will post 4.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Christopher D. Bowers sold 9,200 shares of Centene stock in a transaction on Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total value of $598,092.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 2.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Lindbrook Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Centene during the fourth quarter worth $31,000. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Centene by 140.7% during the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 349 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 204 shares during the period. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Centene during the fourth quarter worth $47,000. Huntington National Bank grew its stake in shares of Centene by 110.7% during the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 472 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 248 shares during the period. Finally, Toth Financial Advisory Corp grew its stake in shares of Centene by 100.0% during the first quarter. Toth Financial Advisory Corp now owns 480 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 240 shares during the period. 45.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Centene Company Profile

Centene Corporation operates as a diversified and multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. The company's 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 covers dually eligible individuals, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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