Centene Co. (NYSE:CNC) Director Sells $858,786.60 in Stock

Centene Co. (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) Director Richard A. Gephardt sold 10,220 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the sale, the director now owns 27,040 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,272,171.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website.

Shares of CNC stock traded up $1.77 on Thursday, reaching $83.64. The stock had a trading volume of 2,914,213 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,909,527. The stock has a market cap of $48.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.52. Centene Co. has a 1 year low of $59.67 and a 1 year high of $89.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a current ratio of 1.05. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $82.28 and a 200 day simple moving average of $82.27.

Centene (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.83 earnings per share 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 the consensus estimate 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% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.63 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Centene Co. will post 5.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Centene announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Friday, June 17th that permits the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 6.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Several research firms have weighed in on CNC. Wells Fargo & Company dropped their price objective on Centene from $96.00 to $95.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 25th. Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on Centene in a research report on Thursday, May 26th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $108.00 target price for the company. StockNews.com began coverage on Centene in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “strong-buy” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group raised Centene from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $86.00 to $88.00 in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their target price on Centene from $88.00 to $91.00 in a research report on Wednesday. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $92.44.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Centene during the fourth quarter worth approximately $470,456,000. Capital World Investors boosted its position in shares of Centene by 8.6% during the fourth quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 46,851,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,860,593,000 after buying an additional 3,717,875 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in shares of Centene by 14.3% during 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. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. boosted its holdings in shares of Centene by 8,192.5% in the fourth quarter. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. now owns 1,640,417 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,169,000 after purchasing an additional 1,620,635 shares during the period. Finally, Invesco Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Centene by 38.1% in the fourth quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 5,798,904 shares of the company’s stock valued at $477,829,000 after purchasing an additional 1,599,740 shares during the period. 92.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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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