Brokerages predict that Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) will announce $16.35 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Nine analysts have made estimates for Centene’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $16.53 billion and the lowest is $15.89 billion. Centene reported sales of $12.81 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 27.6%. The firm is scheduled to report its next earnings report on Tuesday, February 5th.

On average, analysts expect that Centene will report full year sales of $59.96 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $59.44 billion to $60.28 billion. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will post sales of $69.94 billion, with estimates ranging from $69.27 billion to $70.95 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for Centene.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 23rd. The company reported $1.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.02. Centene had a return on equity of 14.42% and a net margin of 1.58%. The company had revenue of $16.18 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.35 EPS. Centene’s quarterly revenue was up 36.0% on a year-over-year basis.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on CNC shares. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “buy” rating and set a $152.00 price objective on shares of Centene in a research note on Wednesday, July 25th. Credit Suisse Group upped their price objective on shares of Centene from $125.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Cantor Fitzgerald upped their price objective on shares of Centene from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Centene from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Centene from $136.00 to $138.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $151.67.

In other news, Director Robert K. Ditmore sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $145.06, for a total value of $2,175,900.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher D. Bowers sold 3,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $145.55, for a total transaction of $553,090.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 35,800 shares of company stock valued at $4,957,590. 3.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Capital International Investors bought a new stake in Centene during the third quarter worth about $1,012,845,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Centene by 15.5% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,847,653 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,952,589,000 after purchasing an additional 2,122,661 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its position in Centene by 203.4% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,419,139 shares of the company’s stock worth $350,243,000 after purchasing an additional 1,621,757 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC lifted its position in Centene by 47.6% during the second quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 2,113,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $260,346,000 after purchasing an additional 681,847 shares during the period. Finally, Partner Fund Management L.P. bought a new stake in Centene during the second quarter worth about $80,237,000. 89.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:CNC traded down $2.74 during trading on Friday, hitting $133.26. 21,949 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,916,839. Centene has a 1-year low of $93.15 and a 1-year high of $148.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 1.03 and a quick ratio of 1.03. The stock has a market cap of $27.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.46, a P/E/G ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 1.05.

Centene Company Profile

Centene Corporation operates as a diversified and multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. It operates through two segments, Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Managed Care segment offers health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State children's health insurance program, long-term care, foster care, and dual eligible individual, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

Recommended Story: Bond

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Centene (CNC)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Earnings History and Estimates for Centene (NYSE:CNC)

Receive News & Ratings for Centene Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Centene and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.