WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE:WCG) shares saw strong trading volume on Friday . 586,397 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 12% from the previous session’s volume of 521,519 shares.The stock last traded at $115.60 and had previously closed at $115.52.

Several research analysts have commented on the company. Leerink Swann lifted their target price on WellCare Health Plans from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, May 5th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Saturday, April 30th. Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on WellCare Health Plans to $105.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Wedbush reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $119.00 price objective (down from $126.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective (up from $85.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Friday, June 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $99.82.

The company has a market capitalization of $5.14 billion and a PE ratio of 29.00. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $110.05 and a 200 day moving average price of $97.75.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $2.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.40 by $0.83. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.34 earnings per share. The business had revenue of $3.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.53 billion. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that WellCare Health Plans Inc. will post $5.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Kevin F. Hickey sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.56, for a total transaction of $105,560.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,730 shares in the company, valued at $1,554,898.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Glenn Md Phd Steele, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.86, for a total transaction of $1,148,600.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,852 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,246,460.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WCG. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 147,627 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,546,000 after buying an additional 6,834 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC raised its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 11.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 204,658 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,007,000 after buying an additional 21,296 shares in the last quarter. Matarin Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in WellCare Health Plans during the fourth quarter worth $5,107,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 145,871 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,409,000 after buying an additional 4,669 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 216,624 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,943,000 after buying an additional 8,089 shares in the last quarter.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc (WellCare) is a managed care company for government-sponsored health care coverage with a focus on Medicaid and Medicare programs. The Company offers a range of managed care health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans.

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