Centene Corporation (CNC) Sets New 52-Week High After Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday after Cantor Fitzgerald raised their price target on the stock to $107.00. Cantor Fitzgerald currently has an overweight rating on the stock. Centene Corporation traded as high as $97.43 and last traded at $97.59, with a volume of 2,254,666 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $90.88.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on CNC. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price objective on shares of Centene Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Centene Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. BidaskClub raised shares of Centene Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. ValuEngine cut shares of Centene Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on shares of Centene Corporation from $80.00 to $89.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $90.53.

In other news, Director Robert K. Ditmore sold 4,167 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.59, for a total value of $344,152.53. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman Michael F. Neidorff sold 35,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.26, for a total transaction of $2,809,100.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 43,167 shares of company stock worth $3,470,973. Company insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CNC. Profund Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 6.7% during the 1st quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 6,883 shares of the company’s stock worth $490,000 after buying an additional 435 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 34.0% during the 1st quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 15,958 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,137,000 after buying an additional 4,049 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 8.9% during the 1st quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 4,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $349,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 0.8% during the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 22,547 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,607,000 after buying an additional 171 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 6.9% during the 1st quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 94,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,727,000 after buying an additional 6,100 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.26% of the company’s stock.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $84.75 and a 200-day moving average price of $77.56. The firm has a market cap of $16.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.54 and a beta of 0.63.

Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.29. Centene Corporation had a net margin of 1.72% and a return on equity of 14.62%. The firm had revenue of $11.95 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.69 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.29 earnings per share. Centene Corporation’s revenue was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Centene Corporation will post $4.92 earnings per share for the current year.

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About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation is a healthcare company. The Company provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. The Company operates through two segments: Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Company’s Managed Care segment provides health plan coverage to individuals, through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Long Term Care, Foster Care, dual-eligible individuals (Duals) and the Supplemental Security Income Program, also known as the Aged, Blind or Disabled Program (ABD), Medicare, and Health Insurance Marketplace.

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