Shares of Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) hit a new 52-week high on Thursday . The stock 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 brokerages have weighed in on CNC. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on Centene Corp. from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Centene Corp. in a research note on Saturday, June 4th. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Centene Corp. in a research note on Saturday, April 2nd. Vetr downgraded Centene Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.50 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, June 2nd. Finally, Leerink Swann reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Centene Corp. in a research note on Thursday, May 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $80.19.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $69.63 and its 200-day moving average price is $62.38. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.85 billion and a PE ratio of 33.99.

Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.52 EPS. The company earned $6.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.88 billion. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 35.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Centene Corp. will post $4.21 EPS for the current year.

In related news, EVP Kenneth Rone Baldwin sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.00, for a total value of $426,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Richard A. Gephardt sold 15,910 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.89, for a total transaction of $1,096,039.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CNC. ProShare Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Centene Corp. by 10.7% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 15,447 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,017,000 after buying an additional 1,490 shares in the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. purchased a new stake in Centene Corp. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,800,000. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in 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. BOKF NA boosted its stake in Centene Corp. by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. BOKF NA now owns 42,784 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,815,000 after buying an additional 444 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its stake in Centene Corp. by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 34,560 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,274,000 after buying an additional 180 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.

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