Shares of Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) have received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the seventeen ratings firms that are covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have given a hold recommendation and thirteen have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $73.10.

CNC has been the topic of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Centene from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, September 2nd. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Centene in a research report on Thursday. They set a “buy” rating and a $62.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine cut Centene from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on Centene from $71.00 to $64.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 23rd.

Shares of CNC traded down $1.89 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $44.89. 5,885,446 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,115,397. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $48.36 and a 200-day moving average of $53.23. Centene has a one year low of $44.50 and a one year high of $74.49. The firm has a market cap of $19.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.68, a PEG ratio of 0.74 and a beta of 0.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.07.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The company reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. Centene had a return on equity of 15.87% and a net margin of 1.84%. The firm had revenue of $18.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $18.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.90 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 29.4% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts forecast that Centene will post 4.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Jessica L. Blume acquired 2,850 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 26th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $52.99 per share, for a total transaction of $151,021.50. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 2.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Centene by 1.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 42,806,796 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,244,788,000 after buying an additional 539,794 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Centene by 101.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 36,536,247 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,940,075,000 after buying an additional 18,409,531 shares in the last quarter. Viking Global Investors LP boosted its stake in Centene by 233.3% in the second quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 13,994,550 shares of the company’s stock worth $733,874,000 after buying an additional 9,795,824 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. boosted its stake in Centene by 91.2% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 6,368,307 shares of the company’s stock worth $333,956,000 after buying an additional 3,037,351 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Maverick Capital Ltd. boosted its stake in Centene by 57.4% in the second quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. now owns 6,123,308 shares of the company’s stock worth $321,106,000 after buying an additional 2,233,222 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.76% of the company’s stock.

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. The company's Managed Care segment offers health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State children's health insurance program, long-term services and support, foster care, and medicare-medicaid plans, which covers dually eligible individuals, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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Analyst Recommendations for Centene (NYSE:CNC)

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