Benefitfocus (BNFT) Trading Up 4.2% on Analyst Upgrade

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Shares of Benefitfocus Inc (NASDAQ:BNFT) were up 4.2% on Monday after ValuEngine upgraded the stock from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating. The company traded as high as $45.88 and last traded at $41.18. Approximately 9,010 shares changed hands during trading, a decline of 97% from the average daily volume of 285,159 shares. The stock had previously closed at $39.53.

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price objective on shares of Benefitfocus in a research report on Friday, July 20th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Benefitfocus from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Chardan Capital upped their price objective on shares of Benefitfocus from $34.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. Finally, Guggenheim started coverage on shares of Benefitfocus in a research report on Monday, August 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $45.00 price objective for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $39.73.

In other news, CFO Jonathon E. Dussault sold 4,045 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.81, for a total value of $148,896.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Francis J. Pelzer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.02, for a total transaction of $210,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 19,275 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $809,935.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 10,295 shares of company stock valued at $409,514 in the last quarter. Insiders own 29.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Benefitfocus by 4.0% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 115,895 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $3,895,000 after acquiring an additional 4,406 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC increased its holdings in Benefitfocus by 776.0% during the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 735,496 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $24,713,000 after acquiring an additional 651,532 shares in the last quarter. Laurion Capital Management LP purchased a new position in Benefitfocus during the 2nd quarter valued at about $2,242,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in Benefitfocus by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 78,992 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $2,654,000 after acquiring an additional 3,648 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in Benefitfocus during the 2nd quarter valued at about $284,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.26% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a market cap of $1.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -52.57 and a beta of 1.16.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The software maker reported ($0.23) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.28) by $0.05. The business had revenue of $61.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $59.91 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted ($0.06) earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 8.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Benefitfocus Inc will post -1.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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About Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT)

Benefitfocus, Inc provides cloud-based benefits management platform for consumers, employers, insurance carriers, and brokers in the United States. It operates through Employer and Carrier segments. The company's products for insurance carriers include Marketplaces, which are online shopping environments; eEnrollment that provides online enrollment for benefits; eBilling, an electronic invoice presentment and payment solution; eExchange, a solution for communication; eSales for carriers and brokers to organize and manage accounts, track leads, generate quotes, and create proposals for products; and Core & Advanced Analytics, a data analytics solution.

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