Viking Global Investors LP Reduces Position in Centene Co. (NYSE:CNC)

Viking Global Investors LP cut its position in Centene Co. (NYSE:CNC) by 16.1% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 10,977,051 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,110,598 shares during the period. Centene accounts for 2.1% of Viking Global Investors LP’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 14th largest holding. Viking Global Investors LP owned approximately 1.88% of Centene worth $701,543,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. JJJ Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Centene in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $25,000. GPS Wealth Strategies Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the 1st quarter valued at $26,000. Summit Wealth Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the 1st quarter valued at $27,000. Van ECK Associates Corp acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the 1st quarter valued at $28,000. Finally, Barrett Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Centene by 800.0% in the 1st quarter. Barrett Asset Management LLC now owns 450 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. 89.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Centene stock traded down $0.54 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $73.23. 33,235 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,587,169. The stock has a market capitalization of $42.67 billion, a PE ratio of 17.61, a P/E/G ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a current ratio of 1.10. Centene Co. has a 52-week low of $53.60 and a 52-week high of $75.59. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $72.15.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 26th. The company reported $1.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.59 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $29.96 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.55 billion. Centene had a net margin of 2.14% and a return on equity of 13.09%. The business’s revenue was up 15.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Centene Co. will post 5.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Orlando Ayala sold 7,201 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total value of $432,060.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Mark J. Brooks sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total transaction of $1,020,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 89,883 shares of company stock valued at $6,150,940 in the last quarter. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on CNC. upped their target price on shares of Centene from $80.00 to $86.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 17th. Seaport Global Securities started coverage on shares of Centene in a report on Friday, July 9th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $90.00 target price for the company. Stephens upgraded shares of Centene from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $71.00 to $87.00 in a research note on Tuesday, May 11th. Seaport Res Ptn reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Centene in a research note on Friday, July 9th. Finally, Mizuho increased their price target on shares of Centene from $65.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 17th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $82.38.

Centene Company Profile

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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