Benefitfocus (BNFT) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday. They currently have $47.00 price target on the software maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Benefitfocus, Inc. offers cloud-based software solutions to consumers, employers, insurance carriers and brokers. The Company’s platform of products and services enable customers to efficiently shop, enroll, manage and exchange benefits information. Benefitfocus, Inc. is based in Charleston, South Carolina. “

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on BNFT. Chardan Capital boosted their price target on Benefitfocus from $34.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd. BidaskClub raised Benefitfocus from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. ValuEngine upgraded Benefitfocus from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Tuesday. Wedbush assumed coverage on Benefitfocus in a research report on Thursday, October 18th. They set an outperform rating and a $42.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Raymond James boosted their price objective on Benefitfocus from $40.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, August 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $40.45.

Shares of Benefitfocus stock traded up $0.30 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $44.18. 292,125 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 288,009. Benefitfocus has a 1-year low of $21.75 and a 1-year high of $45.88. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.35 billion, a P/E ratio of -55.92 and a beta of 1.16.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The software maker reported ($0.23) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.28) by $0.05. The business had revenue of $61.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $59.91 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted ($0.06) EPS. Benefitfocus’s quarterly revenue was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Benefitfocus will post -1.18 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Benefitfocus news, Director Francis J. Pelzer sold 750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total value of $30,000.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 24,275 shares in the company, valued at approximately $971,000. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Francis J. Pelzer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.02, for a total value of $210,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 19,275 shares in the company, valued at approximately $809,935.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 10,295 shares of company stock worth $409,514 in the last 90 days. 29.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BNFT. Millennium Management LLC grew its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 776.0% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 735,496 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $24,713,000 after buying an additional 651,532 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 8.8% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,782,986 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $193,472,000 after buying an additional 387,986 shares during the last quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. grew its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 88.3% in the 2nd quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 696,164 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $23,391,000 after buying an additional 326,460 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 25.8% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,344,893 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $45,189,000 after buying an additional 275,749 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Artisan Partners Limited Partnership grew its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 16.4% in the 2nd quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 1,186,444 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $39,865,000 after buying an additional 167,263 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.26% of the company’s stock.

About Benefitfocus

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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