Humana Inc (HUM) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday, April 18th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $237.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over last six months Humana’s shares gained 22%, as against the Zacks categorized HMO industry that registered an increase of 17%. The outperformance likely has resulted from Humana’s continuous margin growth. It has witnessed an increase in the Zacks Consensus earnings estimate over the past 60 days. Accretive acquisitions, efficient capital deployment, business diversification initiatives and consistent revenue growth paved the way for long-term growth. Its strong balance sheet is another positive.The company is set to release its first quarter results on May 3, 2017. Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and positive earnings ESP of 1.66% increases the potential for a beat.  However, the merger of the company with Aetna has terminated, a deal which would have lifted the ranks of the company in the industry. Moreover, stiff competition, weakness in group Medicare Advantage and individual commercial business raise concerns.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on HUM. Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage on Humana in a research report on Monday, February 6th. They set a neutral rating and a $186.00 price target on the stock. Bank of America Corp initiated coverage on Humana in a research report on Friday, January 27th. They set a buy rating on the stock. Evercore ISI reaffirmed an overweight rating on shares of Humana in a research report on Monday, February 27th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $237.00 price target on shares of Humana in a research report on Friday, March 24th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies started coverage on shares of Humana in a report on Tuesday, January 3rd. They set an overweight rating and a $231.00 price objective on the stock. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Humana presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $216.29.

Shares of Humana (NYSE:HUM) traded down 0.57% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $224.92. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,424,454 shares. Humana has a 52-week low of $150.00 and a 52-week high of $233.66. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $217.99 and a 200-day moving average price of $206.97. The stock has a market cap of $32.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.92 and a beta of 0.91.

Humana (NYSE:HUM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The insurance provider reported $2.75 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.55 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $13.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.61 billion. Humana had a net margin of 1.09% and a return on equity of 13.09%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.86 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Humana will post $11.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 31st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 28th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.71%. Humana’s payout ratio is 29.59%.

In related news, CEO Bruce D. Broussard sold 118,231 shares of Humana stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $225.82, for a total transaction of $26,698,924.42. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 171,170 shares in the company, valued at approximately $38,653,609.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Cynthia H. Zipperle sold 1,885 shares of Humana stock in a transaction on Friday, March 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $213.37, for a total transaction of $402,202.45. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 3,736 shares in the company, valued at $797,150.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 456,402 shares of company stock worth $96,803,127 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. World Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Humana by 1.8% in the third quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 15,824 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,799,000 after buying an additional 278 shares in the last quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Humana by 40.5% in the third quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,998 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $707,000 after buying an additional 1,153 shares in the last quarter. DnB Asset Management AS raised its position in Humana by 17.9% in the third quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 28,314 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $5,008,000 after buying an additional 4,300 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC raised its position in Humana by 157.7% in the third quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 59,210 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $10,474,000 after buying an additional 36,230 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in Humana by 3.6% in the third quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 22,959 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,061,000 after buying an additional 788 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.00% of the company’s stock.

Humana Company Profile

Humana Inc is a health and well-being company. The Company’s segments include Retail, Group, Healthcare Services and Other Businesses. The Retail segment consists of Medicare benefits, as well as individual commercial fully insured medical and specialty health insurance benefits, including dental, vision, and other supplemental health and financial protection products.

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