Morgan Stanley Raises Centene (CNC) Price Target to $175.00

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Centene (NYSE:CNC) had its price target hoisted by Morgan Stanley from $138.00 to $175.00 in a research report released on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley currently has an overweight rating on the stock.

CNC has been the subject of a number of other reports. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on shares of Centene from $134.00 to $152.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday. Oppenheimer lifted their price target on shares of Centene from $130.00 to $138.00 in a report on Monday, June 18th. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price target on shares of Centene from $126.00 to $142.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Monday, June 18th. Citigroup reissued a neutral rating and set a $147.00 price target on shares of Centene in a report on Wednesday, July 18th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Centene from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 9th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $142.41.

NYSE:CNC opened at $146.05 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $29.83 billion, a PE ratio of 23.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 0.85. Centene has a 52 week low of $83.56 and a 52 week high of $148.24. The company has a quick ratio of 1.26, a current ratio of 1.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 24th. The company reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.77 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $14.18 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.82 billion. Centene had a net margin of 2.06% and a return on equity of 14.57%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.59 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Centene will post 7.08 EPS for the current year.

In other Centene news, Director Robert K. Ditmore sold 8,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.44, for a total value of $1,150,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 472,241 shares in the company, valued at approximately $62,071,357.04. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Brandy Burkhalter sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.90, for a total transaction of $395,700.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 13,750 shares of company stock valued at $1,785,800 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Fort L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Centene during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $122,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Centene during the 1st quarter worth approximately $114,000. IMA Wealth Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Centene during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $124,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC grew its position in shares of Centene by 127.2% during the 2nd quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 1,254 shares of the company’s stock worth $155,000 after buying an additional 702 shares during the period. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Centene during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $180,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.07% of the company’s stock.

Centene Company Profile

Centene Corporation operates as a diversified and multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. It operates through two segments, Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Managed Care segment offers health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State children's health insurance program, long-term care, foster care, and dual eligible individual, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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