Centene Co. (NYSE:CNC) Director Richard A. Gephardt Sells 10,220 Shares

Centene Co. (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) Director Richard A. Gephardt sold 10,220 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.03, for a total value of $858,786.60. Following the transaction, the director now owns 27,040 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,272,171.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website.

Shares of NYSE CNC traded up $1.77 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $83.64. 2,914,213 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,909,527. The company has a market cap of $48.92 billion, a PE ratio of 33.19, a P/E/G ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a current ratio of 1.05. Centene Co. has a one year low of $59.67 and a one year high of $89.92. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $82.28 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $82.27.

Centene (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.68 by $0.15. The company had revenue of $37.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.48 billion. Centene had a return on equity of 11.82% and a net margin of 1.12%. Centene’s quarterly revenue was up 24.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.63 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Centene Co. will post 5.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Centene declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Friday, June 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $3.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 6.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Several analysts recently weighed in on CNC shares. Loop Capital began coverage on Centene in a research note on Thursday, June 16th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $100.00 price objective on the stock. StockNews.com started coverage on Centene in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “strong-buy” rating for the company. Wells Fargo & Company lowered their price objective on Centene from $96.00 to $95.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 25th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised their price objective on Centene from $88.00 to $91.00 in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Bank of America downgraded Centene from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $95.00 to $90.00 in a research report on Thursday, May 26th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $92.44.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Centene by 1.8% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 63,607,238 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,355,094,000 after purchasing an additional 1,121,697 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors boosted its position in Centene by 7.9% in the first quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 50,535,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,254,604,000 after purchasing an additional 3,683,887 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Centene by 1.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 41,847,249 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,523,119,000 after purchasing an additional 689,076 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Centene by 14.3% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 26,720,429 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,249,594,000 after buying an additional 3,350,045 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Centene by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 24,533,423 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,021,554,000 after buying an additional 769,329 shares during the period. 92.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Centene (Get Rating)

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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