Several brokerages have updated their recommendations and price targets on shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) in the last few weeks:

  • 9/15/2017 – Centene Corporation was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $107.00 price target on the stock. 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.”
  • 9/14/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG. They now have a $111.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $95.00.
  • 9/13/2017 – Centene Corporation had its price target raised by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald to $107.00. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock.
  • 9/13/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “outperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Cowen and Company. They now have a $105.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $77.00.
  • 9/13/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “market perform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Leerink Swann. They now have a $90.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $78.00.
  • 9/1/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies. They now have a $105.00 price target on the stock.
  • 8/24/2017 – Centene Corporation was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating.
  • 8/4/2017 – Centene Corporation was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. 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. Its second-quarter 2017 earnings per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved year over year on the back of higher revenues. However, it suffers from rising level of debt and increasing borrowing cost that keeps draining the bottom-line. Growing  acquisition related expenses also continue to bother.”
  • 7/28/2017 – Centene Corporation was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 7/27/2017 – Centene Corporation was upgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating.
  • 7/27/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies. They now have a $105.00 price target on the stock.
  • 7/27/2017 – Centene Corporation was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating. They now have a $97.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Centene’ searnings per share of $1.59 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 22.3% and improved 23.2% year over year on the back of higher revenues. 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 impresses. Year to date, the stock rallied 47%, outpacing 23% gain of the industry. The company’s strong and consistent performance is likely to have generated confidence among the investors. However, it suffers from rising level of debt and increasing borrowing cost that keeps draining the bottom-line. Rising level of  acquisition related expenses continue to bother.”
  • 7/27/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Jefferies Group LLC. They now have a $98.00 price target on the stock.
  • 7/26/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “overweight” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Morgan Stanley. They now have a $94.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $86.00.
  • 7/26/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at UBS AG. They now have a $95.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $88.00.
  • 7/26/2017 – Centene Corporation had its price target raised by analysts at Citigroup Inc. from $80.00 to $89.00. They now have a “sell” rating on the stock.
  • 7/25/2017 – Centene Corporation had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald. They now have a $90.00 price target on the stock. They wrote, “This morning, CNC reported 2Q17 results. Revenue of $11.95 billion was slightly ahead of FactSet consensus. Adjusted EPS was $1.59 vs. our estimate of $1.25 and consensus of $1.30.””

Shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) opened at 89.78 on Wednesday. Centene Corporation has a 12 month low of $50.00 and a 12 month high of $98.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.70 and a beta of 0.63. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $86.60 and its 200 day moving average is $78.42.

Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $11.95 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.69 billion. Centene Corporation had a return on equity of 14.62% and a net margin of 1.72%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.29 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Centene Corporation will post $4.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Christopher D. Bowers sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.43, for a total transaction of $317,720.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Michael F. Neidorff sold 35,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.26, for a total value of $2,809,100.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 43,167 shares of company stock worth $3,470,973 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

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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