Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $73.65 and last traded at $73.13, with a volume of 536,067 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $72.45.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on CNC shares. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $89.00 price objective on shares of Centene Corp. in a research report on Thursday, March 24th. Credit Suisse Group AG boosted their price objective on shares of Centene Corp. from $102.00 to $118.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 24th. Citigroup Inc. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Centene Corp. in a research report on Saturday, April 2nd. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of Centene Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, April 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Centene Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, April 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $79.53.

The company has a 50 day moving average of $69.06 and a 200 day moving average of $62.23. The firm has a market cap of $12.37 billion and a PE ratio of 32.73.

Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74. The business had revenue of $6.95 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.88 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.52 EPS. Centene Corp.’s revenue was up 35.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Centene Corp. will post $4.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Kenneth Rone Baldwin sold 6,000 shares of Centene Corp. stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.00, for a total transaction of $426,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Jesse N. Hunter sold 10,000 shares of Centene Corp. stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.17, for a total transaction of $651,700.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 216,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,098,160.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Systematic Financial Management LP increased its position in shares of Centene Corp. by 270.4% in the fourth quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 955,337 shares of the company’s stock worth $62,870,000 after buying an additional 697,436 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Centene Corp. by 6.7% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,314,409 shares of the company’s stock worth $612,981,000 after buying an additional 581,540 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new position in shares of Centene Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $19,223,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Centene Corp. by 15.9% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,547,023 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,809,000 after buying an additional 211,761 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Foresters Investment Management Company Inc. increased its position in shares of Centene Corp. by 56.6% in the fourth quarter. Foresters Investment Management Company Inc. now owns 418,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,509,000 after buying an additional 151,000 shares in the last quarter.

Centene Corporation is a diversified healthcare company that provides programs and services to government sponsored healthcare programs. The Company also provides education and outreach programs to inform and assist members in accessing appropriate healthcare services. The Company operates through two segments.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.