Benefitfocus (BNFT) Shares Gap Down to $49.12

Benefitfocus Inc (NASDAQ:BNFT) shares gapped down prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $51.20, but opened at $49.12. Benefitfocus shares last traded at $46.04, with a volume of 4218220 shares changing hands.

BNFT has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 10th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “positive” rating and issued a $61.00 price target on shares of Benefitfocus in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Wedbush reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 price target on shares of Benefitfocus in a report on Wednesday, December 19th. ValuEngine raised shares of Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on shares of Benefitfocus to $58.00 and gave the company an “average” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 19th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $50.75.

The firm has a market capitalization of $1.92 billion, a P/E ratio of -30.90 and a beta of 1.45.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 26th. The software maker reported $0.14 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.10 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $74.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $73.03 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted ($0.06) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Benefitfocus Inc will post -1.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Francis J. Pelzer sold 1,630 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.04, for a total transaction of $97,865.20. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,145 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $969,345.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders have sold 2,380 shares of company stock worth $139,060 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 29.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC bought a new position in shares of Benefitfocus during the fourth quarter worth approximately $27,000. Jane Street Group LLC bought a new position in Benefitfocus in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,414,000. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY increased its stake in Benefitfocus by 396.6% in the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 7,042 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $322,000 after acquiring an additional 5,624 shares during the last quarter. Zacks Investment Management bought a new position in Benefitfocus in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $282,000. Finally, D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. increased its stake in Benefitfocus by 250.8% in the fourth quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 265,438 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $12,136,000 after acquiring an additional 189,763 shares during the last quarter. 93.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT)

Benefitfocus, Inc provides cloud-based benefits management platform for consumers, employers, insurance carriers, and brokers in the United States. It operates through Employer and Carrier segments. The company's products for insurance carriers include Marketplaces, which are online shopping environments; eEnrollment that provides online enrollment for benefits; eBilling, an electronic invoice presentment and payment solution; eExchange, a solution for communication; eSales for carriers and brokers to organize and manage accounts, track leads, generate quotes, and create proposals for products; and Core & Advanced Analytics, a data analytics solution.

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