Molina Healthcare Inc (NYSE:MOH) was upgraded by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from an “underweight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $68.00 target price on the stock, up from their prior target price of $65.00. Morgan Stanley’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 14.04% from the stock’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “extreme makeover,” according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. The firm’s Zack Sopcak upgrades Molina Healthcare’s stock rating from Underweight all the way to Overweight with a price target boosted from $65 to $68.Shares of Molina Healthcare have gained more than 20 percent since the company parted ways with its CEO and chief financial officer in May of 2017, Sopcak noted. The management shuffle is viewed as a “much needed overhaul” for the “less efficient” player in the Medicaid space (see Sopcak’s track record here).However, Molina Healthcare’s stock has given back a lot of its gains since early June but this isn’t necessarily justified since the company communicated a clear cost cutting plan and strategy, Sopcak continued. Specifically, management detailed a path toward $200 million in savings by the end of the year and $300 to $400 million by the end of 2018, mostly due to staffing reductions, exiting non-strategic ACA-marketplace regions and implementing tighter physician networks and contracts.Perhaps more important to Molina Healthcare’s stock, the company’s strategy moving forward also limits downside. In fact, even if the company doesn’t fully meet its financial targets its strategy will at the very least result in a “more-right sized structure”

MOH has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Molina Healthcare from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Molina Healthcare from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Molina Healthcare from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 2nd. Bank of America Corporation upped their price target on shares of Molina Healthcare from $59.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Molina Healthcare from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $62.18.

Molina Healthcare (NYSE MOH) traded up 0.20% during trading on Thursday, hitting $59.63. 1,076,980 shares of the stock were exchanged. Molina Healthcare has a 52 week low of $42.56 and a 52 week high of $72.79. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $65.89 and a 200-day moving average of $58.98. The stock’s market capitalization is $3.41 billion.

Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The company reported ($0.01) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.87. Molina Healthcare had a negative net margin of 1.07% and a positive return on equity of 16.10%. The business had revenue of $5 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.88 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 14.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Molina Healthcare will post ($2.96) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Steven J. Orlando sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total value of $60,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director John C. Molina sold 21,277 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.53, for a total transaction of $1,500,666.81. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 611,154 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $43,104,691.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 215,813 shares of company stock valued at $14,231,753 in the last three months. Company insiders own 6.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Molina Healthcare by 40.9% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,829 shares of the company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 531 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Molina Healthcare during the second quarter worth about $136,000. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Molina Healthcare by 13.2% in the first quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 2,408 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 280 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Molina Healthcare by 64.2% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,463 shares of the company’s stock worth $170,000 after buying an additional 963 shares during the period. Finally, Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Molina Healthcare by 13.2% in the first quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC now owns 2,924 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 340 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.17% of the company’s stock.

Molina Healthcare Company Profile

Molina Healthcare, Inc offers Medicaid-related solutions for low-income families and individuals, and assists government agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program. The Company operates through three segments: Health Plans, Molina Medicaid Solutions and Other, which includes its Pathways Health and Community Support LLC (Pathways) business.

Analyst Recommendations for Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH)

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