WellPoint’s “Neutral” Rating Reaffirmed at Bank of America (WLP)
WellPoint (NYSE:WLP)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating restated by analysts at Bank of America in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. They currently have a $125.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $120.00. Bank of America’s target price indicates a potential upside of 12.61% from the company’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “WLP reported adj. Q2 EPS of $2.44, $0.13 above our est and $0.18 above consensus, with the upside vs. our model driven by lower MLR somewhat offset by higher operating expense. WLP increased its 2014 adjusted EPS guidance to ‘at least $8.60′ from “at least $8.40″ due to slightly better revenue and a lower MLR assumption. The guidance raise looks to be in line with the beat this quarter, implying some conservatism in the outlook.With the quarter, we are increasing our 2014/2015/2016 EPS estimates to $8.75/$9.35/$10.34 from $8.65/$9.25/$10.24and raising our PO to $125. We are maintaining our Neutral rating as we believe WLP will do well this year, but we see similar/higher upside at other names with less risk (top pick CI).”
WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) traded up 1.08% on Thursday, hitting $111.00. 1,940,331 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. WellPoint has a 52-week low of $81.46 and a 52-week high of $116.50. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $110.6 and its 200-day moving average is $99.71. The company has a market cap of $30.441 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.54.
WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 30th. The company reported $2.44 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $2.25 by $0.19. The company had revenue of $18.23 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $2.60 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that WellPoint will post $8.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Thursday, September 25th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 10th will be given a dividend of $0.4375 per share. This represents a $1.75 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 8th.
A number of other firms have also recently commented on WLP. Analysts at Cowen and Company raised their price target on shares of WellPoint from $112.00 to $130.00 in a research note on Tuesday. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of WellPoint in a research note on Wednesday, July 16th. They now have a $110.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $105.00. Finally, analysts at Jefferies Group raised their price target on shares of WellPoint from $119.00 to $126.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 10th. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Fourteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $118.06.
WellPoint, Inc (NYSE:WLP) is a health benefit company in terms of medical membership in the United States.
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