Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC)’s share price shot up 3% on Friday . The company traded as high as $75.22 and last traded at $75.17, with a volume of 838,624 shares. The stock had previously closed at $73.00.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on CNC. Vetr cut shares of Centene Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $81.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Centene Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Centene Corp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $84.00 to $86.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Centene Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $76.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Centene Corp. in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $80.00 target price on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $80.19.

The firm has a market cap of $12.85 billion and a P/E ratio of 33.99. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $69.63 and a 200 day moving average of $62.38.

Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.74. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.52 earnings per share. The business had revenue of $6.95 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.88 billion. Centene Corp.’s quarterly revenue was up 35.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Centene Corp. will post $4.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Centene Corp. news, EVP Jesse N. Hunter sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.17, for a total transaction of $651,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 216,329 shares in the company, valued at $14,098,160.93. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Richard A. Gephardt sold 15,910 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 29th. The stock was 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.

A number of large investors have added to or reduced their stakes in CNC. KBC Group NV increased its stake in Centene Corp. by 8.5% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 37,989 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,500,000 after buying an additional 2,979 shares in the last quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas purchased a new position in shares of Centene Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at $3,422,000. 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 valued at $27,509,000 after buying an additional 151,000 shares during the period. Trexquant Investment LP increased its position in shares of Centene Corp. by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Trexquant Investment LP now owns 31,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,066,000 after buying an additional 1,217 shares during the period. Finally, 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 valued at $62,870,000 after buying an additional 697,436 shares during the period.

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.