Centene Corp (CNC) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” from Brokerages

Shares of Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) have been given a consensus rating of “Buy” by the twenty ratings firms that are covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have given a hold recommendation and sixteen have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month target price among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $77.52.

Several research firms have issued reports on CNC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Centene from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, December 31st. Oppenheimer reduced their target price on shares of Centene from $165.00 to $83.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. ValuEngine cut shares of Centene from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. Stephens started coverage on shares of Centene in a report on Monday, January 14th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $73.50 target price for the company. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $76.00 target price on shares of Centene in a report on Thursday, February 7th.

In other Centene news, CFO Jeffrey A. Schwaneke sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $125.00, for a total value of $500,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher D. Bowers sold 9,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total transaction of $598,092.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.50% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Centene by 10.6% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,684,936 shares of the company’s stock worth $243,944,000 after acquiring an additional 161,688 shares in the last quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Centene by 13.3% in the 3rd quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 5,859 shares of the company’s stock worth $852,000 after purchasing an additional 687 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in shares of Centene by 47.3% in the 3rd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 438,516 shares of the company’s stock worth $63,488,000 after purchasing an additional 140,800 shares in the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Centene in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $8,152,000. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd raised its holdings in shares of Centene by 187.5% in the 3rd quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 7,092 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,027,000 after purchasing an additional 4,625 shares in the last quarter. 45.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:CNC traded down $0.22 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $57.66. 79,100 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,407,899. Centene has a fifty-two week low of $49.56 and a fifty-two week high of $74.49. The company has a quick ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.91 billion, a PE ratio of 16.30, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.26.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.33 by $0.05. Centene had a return on equity of 14.10% and a net margin of 1.50%. The firm had revenue of $16.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $16.38 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.49 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 29.3% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Centene will post 4.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Centene (NYSE:CNC)

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