Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) rose 4.7% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $72.67 and last traded at $72.10, with a volume of 2,173,111 shares. The stock had previously closed at $68.86.

CNC has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Centene Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. FBR & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $90.00 target price on shares of Centene Corp. in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Centene Corp. in a report on Monday, June 20th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Centene Corp. in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Vetr downgraded Centene Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $81.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $80.31.

The firm has a market capitalization of $12.21 billion and a PE ratio of 27.61. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $70.21 and a 200-day moving average of $62.72.

Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.20. The company earned $10.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.80 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.72 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 97.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Centene Corp. will post $4.32 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP Mark J. Brooks sold 3,914 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total value of $254,449.14. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 30,605 shares in the company, valued at $1,989,631.05. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Keith H. Williamson sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total transaction of $280,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in CNC. Burney Co. raised its position in shares of Centene Corp. by 9.7% in the fourth quarter. Burney Co. now owns 15,188 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,003,000 after buying an additional 1,346 shares during the period. ProShare Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Centene Corp. by 10.7% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 15,447 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,017,000 after buying an additional 1,490 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Centene Corp. by 26.6% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 17,868 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,176,000 after buying an additional 3,754 shares during the period. Trexquant Investment LP raised 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, KBC Group NV raised its position in shares of 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 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.