Zacks Investment Research Lowers WellCare Health Plans (WCG) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “WellCare Health’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Its robust inorganic growth is impressive. The company’s healthy balance sheet continues to support its operational excellence. Wellcare Health has also been witnessing revenue growth over the last six years. Following the strong third-quarter  results, the company raised its guidance for 2017. However, its rising level of debt hurts the bottom line. Continuous increase in the total expenses also weighs on the margins.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group assumed coverage on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. They issued an overweight rating and a $204.00 price objective for the company. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $214.00 price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Jefferies Group raised their price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $190.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $188.00 price objective (up previously from $175.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of WellCare Health Plans from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $210.07.

Shares of WellCare Health Plans (NYSE WCG) opened at $206.85 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $9,210.00, a P/E ratio of 25.95, a P/E/G ratio of 1.60 and a beta of 0.82. WellCare Health Plans has a 1-year low of $136.23 and a 1-year high of $213.97. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $4.08 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.90 by $2.18. WellCare Health Plans had a net margin of 3.90% and a return on equity of 30.69%. The firm had revenue of $4.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.37 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.63 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 22.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that WellCare Health Plans will post 8.38 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other WellCare Health Plans news, Director Carol Burt sold 997 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $202.20, for a total value of $201,593.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.47% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WCG. Capital Research Global Investors purchased a new stake in WellCare Health Plans in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $170,042,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 37.7% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 851,293 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,858,000 after purchasing an additional 232,993 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. raised its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 60.1% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 594,925 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,172,000 after purchasing an additional 223,364 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new position in shares of WellCare Health Plans during the 2nd quarter valued at $30,078,000. Finally, FMR LLC raised its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 285.7% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 211,664 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,007,000 after purchasing an additional 156,786 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 99.74% of the company’s stock.

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WellCare Health Plans Company Profile

WellCare Health Plans, Inc is a managed care company. The Company focuses on government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs), to families, children, seniors and individuals with medical needs. The Company operates through three segments: Medicaid Health Plans, Medicare Health Plans and Medicare PDPs.

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