WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, WellCare Health Plans stock has gained 33% outperforming the Zacks categorized Health Maintenance Organization industry that has increased only 22%. The outperformance was primarily driven by the company’s robust inorganic growth, particularly the recent acquisition of Care1st Arizona. The company's healthy balance sheet continues to drive its operational and financial excellence. The company has also been witnessing revenue growth since the last six years. The Zacks Consensus Earnings estimate for both 2017 and 2018 have significantly revised upward in last 60 days. However, WellCare Health Plans faces intense competition and stringent regulation because of its geographically diverse operations. The company is set to release its second quarter earnings on Aug 4, 2017 before the market opens.”

WCG has been the subject of several other reports. Wolfe Research restated a “market perform” rating on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Monday, May 15th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “neutral” rating and set a $163.00 target price (up from $155.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Thursday. Jefferies Group LLC raised their target price on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $142.00 to $170.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Deutsche Bank AG assumed coverage on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. They set a “buy” rating and a $168.00 target price for the company. Finally, Bank of America Corporation raised their target price on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $185.00 to $189.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. WellCare Health Plans presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $165.75.

WellCare Health Plans (WCG) traded down 0.370% during trading on Monday, reaching $181.535. 81,115 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $175.00 and a 200 day moving average price of $152.29. WellCare Health Plans has a 12 month low of $105.16 and a 12 month high of $184.88. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.08 billion, a PE ratio of 29.868 and a beta of 0.85.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The company reported $1.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.42. WellCare Health Plans had a net margin of 1.85% and a return on equity of 14.75%. The business had revenue of $3.95 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.85 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.06 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 11.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that WellCare Health Plans will post $6.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, SVP Yount Michael sold 2,500 shares of WellCare Health Plans stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.57, for a total transaction of $416,425.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 4,804 shares in the company, valued at $800,202.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Kelly A. Munson sold 3,000 shares of WellCare Health Plans stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $173.71, for a total transaction of $521,130.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 4,243 shares in the company, valued at approximately $737,051.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 24,019 shares of company stock worth $4,133,066 in the last 90 days. 0.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 4.6% in the second quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 16,284 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,924,000 after buying an additional 723 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 0.6% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,779 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,755,000 after buying an additional 63 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in WellCare Health Plans during the second quarter worth about $121,000. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. purchased a new stake in WellCare Health Plans during the second quarter worth about $737,000. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 9.1% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 7,009 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,259,000 after buying an additional 587 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 98.65% of the company’s stock.

WellCare Health Plans Company Profile

WellCare Health Plans, Inc is a managed care company. The Company focuses on government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs), to families, children, seniors and individuals with medical needs. The Company operates through three segments: Medicaid Health Plans, Medicare Health Plans and Medicare PDPs.

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Analyst Recommendations for WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG)

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