Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report published on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $96.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Molina Healthcare’s shares have outperformed the industry year to date.  The company’s growing top line, backed by a consistent membership rise, positions it for long-term growth. Its inorganic strategies also remain accretive to the revenue base. The company has begun an enterprise-wide restructuring program to reduce expenses and improve overall operational efficiency. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 4.2% upward over the last 60 days. However, Molina Healthcare suffers from rising medical care costs along with acute dependence on debt financing that have resulted in higher interest expenses, draining the bottom line. The company is set to report first quarter results on Apr 30. A favorable Zacks Rank #1 and an Earnings ESP of 7.43% makes us confident of an earnings beat this quarter.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on MOH. JPMorgan Chase upgraded shares of Molina Healthcare from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Leerink Swann increased their price target on shares of Molina Healthcare from $100.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of Molina Healthcare from $97.00 to $94.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Goldman Sachs began coverage on shares of Molina Healthcare in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They issued a neutral rating and a $83.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Piper Jaffray increased their price target on shares of Molina Healthcare to $92.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Molina Healthcare presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $79.43.

Shares of NYSE:MOH opened at $85.30 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $5,091.13, a P/E ratio of 152.32, a PEG ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13, a quick ratio of 1.35 and a current ratio of 1.35. Molina Healthcare has a fifty-two week low of $47.61 and a fifty-two week high of $93.98.

Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 12th. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.95 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.96 billion. Molina Healthcare had a negative net margin of 2.58% and a positive return on equity of 17.64%. analysts forecast that Molina Healthcare will post 3.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director John C. Molina sold 62,420 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.13, for a total transaction of $4,502,354.60. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 393,410 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $28,376,663.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Steven J. Orlando sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.77, for a total value of $109,155.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 169,748 shares of company stock valued at $13,751,144. 0.65% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT bought a new position in shares of Molina Healthcare during the 4th quarter worth approximately $128,179,000. Southpoint Capital Advisors LP bought a new position in shares of Molina Healthcare during the 4th quarter worth approximately $60,577,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in shares of Molina Healthcare by 53.5% during the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,156,150 shares of the company’s stock worth $165,334,000 after acquiring an additional 751,800 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Molina Healthcare by 36.0% during the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,590,409 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,953,000 after acquiring an additional 420,756 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TCW Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of Molina Healthcare during the 4th quarter worth approximately $30,407,000.

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Molina Healthcare Company Profile

Molina Healthcare, Inc provides Medicaid-related solutions to meet the health care needs of low-income families and individuals; and to assist state agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program in the United States. It operates through three segments: Health Plans, Molina Medicaid Solutions, and Other.

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