Benefitfocus Inc. (NASDAQ:BNFT) shares 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.

A number of research analysts recently commented on BNFT shares. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Benefitfocus in a report on Thursday, May 5th. William Blair cut Benefitfocus from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, May 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. began coverage on Benefitfocus in a research note on Monday, May 23rd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $38.00 price objective for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Benefitfocus currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.38.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $40.15 and its 200 day moving average is $34.37. The firm’s market cap is $1.26 billion.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 4th. The company reported ($0.29) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.40) by $0.11. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.48) earnings per share. The firm earned $54.79 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $54.40 million. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 28.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Benefitfocus Inc. will post ($1.06) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

A number of hedge funds have made changes to their positions in the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP acquired a new stake in shares of Benefitfocus during the fourth quarter worth about $1,065,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in 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 during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its stake in Benefitfocus by 13.2% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 471,237 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,148,000 after buying an additional 55,077 shares during the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in Benefitfocus by 37.1% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 153,178 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,574,000 after buying an additional 41,452 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in 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 during 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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