Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm presently has a $107.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.56% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, Centene’s shares have outperformed the industry. The company’s strong and consistent performance is likely to have generated confidence among the investors. It has seen substantial inorganic growth in the last five years. The acquisition of Health Net in 2016 bolstered the company’s growth, expansion and asset base. Its solid financial position provides a major boost to its capital deployment initiatives. The company’s strong Managed care segment also contributes to its strong results. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year being revised upward by 3.4% in the last 60 days.”

CNC has been the topic of several other research reports. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 target price on shares of Centene Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Centene Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $86.00 price objective on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co lowered shares of Centene Corporation from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $75.00 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, May 22nd. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $105.00 target price (up from $77.00) on shares of Centene Corporation in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Bank of America Corporation increased their target price on shares of Centene Corporation from $93.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $92.24.

Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) traded up 0.79% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $96.68. 639,171 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $85.55 and a 200 day moving average price of $77.84. Centene Corporation has a 12-month low of $50.00 and a 12-month high of $98.72. The company has a market cap of $16.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.22 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 for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.69 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.29 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Centene Corporation will post $4.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Centene Corporation news, EVP Christopher D. Bowers sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.43, for a total value of $317,720.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Robert K. Ditmore sold 4,167 shares of the business’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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 43,167 shares of company stock valued at $3,470,973 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CNC. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 3,408.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,510,470 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,105,275,000 after acquiring an additional 15,068,340 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 318.6% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 3,504,359 shares of the company’s stock valued at $279,882,000 after acquiring an additional 2,667,189 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 271.2% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,799,160 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,208,000 after acquiring an additional 1,314,514 shares during the period. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Centene Corporation by 1,534.7% in the first quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,369,670 shares of the company’s stock valued at $97,603,000 after acquiring an additional 1,285,885 shares during the period. Finally, AJO LP acquired a new position in Centene Corporation in the second quarter valued at approximately $100,314,000. 92.26% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC)

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