Centene (CNC) Cut to “Sell” at ValuEngine

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ValuEngine cut shares of Centene (NYSE:CNC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Friday morning.

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on CNC. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Centene from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, December 31st. Oppenheimer decreased their price target on shares of Centene from $165.00 to $83.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 6th. Stephens assumed coverage on shares of Centene in a research report on Monday, January 14th. They set an overweight rating and a $73.50 price target for the company. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $76.00 price target on shares of Centene in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. Finally, Leerink Swann raised shares of Centene from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $79.84 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $77.65.

Shares of NYSE CNC opened at $61.95 on Friday. Centene has a 52-week low of $48.81 and a 52-week high of $74.49. The firm has a market cap of $25.83 billion, a PE ratio of 17.50, a P/E/G ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 1.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 1.00 and a quick ratio of 1.03.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.33 by $0.05. Centene had a net margin of 1.50% and a return on equity of 14.10%. The company had revenue of $16.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $16.38 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.49 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 29.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Centene will post 4.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Centene news, EVP Mark J. Brooks sold 2,540 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.26, for a total value of $308,000.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Jeffrey A. Schwaneke sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $125.00, for a total transaction of $500,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Martingale Asset Management L P lifted its holdings in Centene by 2,308.0% in the 4th quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 50,882 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,867,000 after buying an additional 48,769 shares in the last quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department raised its stake in shares of Centene by 47.8% in the 4th quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 95,098 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,965,000 after purchasing an additional 30,757 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Centene by 6.9% in the 4th quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 11,070 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,276,000 after purchasing an additional 714 shares in the last quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board raised its stake in shares of Centene by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board now owns 34,707 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,002,000 after purchasing an additional 801 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Equity Services LLC raised its stake in shares of Centene by 18.5% in the 4th quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 15,842 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,826,000 after purchasing an additional 2,473 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.34% 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. 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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Centene (NYSE:CNC)

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