First Republic Investment Management Inc. Raises Holdings in Centene Co. (NYSE:CNC)

First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Centene Co. (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) by 26.6% during the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 200,259 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 42,056 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Centene were worth $15,582,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in shares of Centene by 12.1% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 29,944,019 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,533,562,000 after acquiring an additional 3,223,590 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Centene by 130.9% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 4,300,967 shares of the company’s stock valued at $363,905,000 after buying an additional 2,438,316 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in Centene by 0.8% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 3,979,079 shares of the company’s stock valued at $336,672,000 after purchasing an additional 32,165 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Centene by 3.5% in the 1st quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,226,201 shares of the company’s stock worth $271,614,000 after buying an additional 109,994 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Scharf Investments LLC grew its holdings in Centene by 2.8% in the third quarter. Scharf Investments LLC now owns 2,038,333 shares of the company’s stock valued at $158,602,000 after purchasing an additional 55,992 shares during the period. 93.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on CNC shares. Bank of America downgraded Centene from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $100.00 to $85.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 13th. StockNews.com upgraded Centene from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Monday, January 16th. Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on Centene from $104.00 to $106.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, December 19th. Barclays lowered their price target on shares of Centene from $107.00 to $100.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 3rd. Finally, Argus upped their price objective on shares of Centene from $95.00 to $99.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Centene has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $101.35.

Centene Price Performance

NYSE CNC opened at $75.76 on Wednesday. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $81.37 and a 200-day simple moving average of $84.56. Centene Co. has a 52-week low of $73.19 and a 52-week high of $98.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $42.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 1.06 and a quick ratio of 1.06.

Centene (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $35.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $35.45 billion. Centene had a net margin of 1.42% and a return on equity of 13.08%. Centene’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.26 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Centene Co. will post 5.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Centene announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Friday, December 16th that authorizes the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 4.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

About Centene

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Centene Corporation operates as a multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. Its 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 cover dually eligible individuals, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Centene (NYSE:CNC)

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