Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC)’s share price shot up 3.4% on Thursday . The company traded as high as $70.44 and last traded at $69.67, with a volume of 2,106,462 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $67.41.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on CNC. Jefferies Group decreased their target price on Centene Corp. from $89.00 to $82.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday. FBR & Co restated an “outperform” rating and set a $90.00 price target on shares of Centene Corp. in a research note on Tuesday. Vetr downgraded Centene Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $81.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “buy” rating on shares of Centene Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upgraded Centene Corp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $84.00 to $86.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $80.31.

The stock has a market cap of $12.05 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.23. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $70.12 and a 200 day moving average of $62.61.

Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.09 by $0.20. The firm earned $10.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.80 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.72 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 97.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Centene Corp. will post $4.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Keith H. Williamson sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total value of $280,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Richard A. Gephardt sold 15,910 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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.

Other large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Systematic Financial Management LP increased its stake 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 during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake 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 during the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in shares of Centene Corp. during the fourth quarter worth about $19,223,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Foresters Investment Management Company Inc. increased its stake 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 during 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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