Benefitfocus Inc. (NASDAQ:BNFT) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $44.91 and last traded at $44.12, with a volume of 152,058 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $43.62.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on BNFT shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Benefitfocus from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, June 13th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. started coverage on Benefitfocus in a research note on Monday, May 23rd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $38.00 price objective on the stock. William Blair cut Benefitfocus from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 5th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Benefitfocus in a research note on Thursday, May 5th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.38.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $39.92 and its 200 day moving average is $34.21. The firm’s market capitalization is $1.31 billion.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 4th. The company reported ($0.29) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.40) by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $54.79 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $54.40 million. The company’s revenue was up 28.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned ($0.48) earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Benefitfocus Inc. will post ($1.06) EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Douglas Dennerline sold 3,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.85, for a total value of $101,920.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 13,819 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $440,135.15. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Francis J. Pelzer sold 1,530 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.54, for a total transaction of $60,496.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 15,636 shares in the company, valued at $618,247.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently modified their holdings of the company. Nationwide Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 22.1% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 41,748 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,519,000 after buying an additional 7,546 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 460,617 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,762,000 after buying an additional 19,627 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP bought a new position in shares of Benefitfocus during the fourth quarter worth $1,065,000. Russell Frank Co raised its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 207.8% in the fourth quarter. Russell Frank Co now owns 46,694 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,751,000 after buying an additional 31,524 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its position in shares of Benefitfocus by 1,866.6% in the fourth quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 38,152 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,388,000 after buying an additional 36,212 shares in the last quarter.

Benefitfocus, Inc (Benefitfocus) is a provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions for consumers, employers, insurance carriers and brokers. The Benefitfocus platform provides solutions that enable the Company’s employer and insurance carrier customers to shop, enroll, manage and exchange benefits information.

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