Commonwealth Equity Services LLC Grows Holdings in Centene Co. (NYSE:CNC)

Commonwealth Equity Services LLC lifted its position in shares of Centene Co. (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) by 2.5% in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 24,760 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 609 shares during the quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC’s holdings in Centene were worth $1,926,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Horizon Investments LLC lifted its stake in shares of Centene by 354.9% during the 3rd quarter. Horizon Investments LLC now owns 21,299 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,657,000 after purchasing an additional 16,617 shares during the period. AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Centene by 252.6% in the 3rd quarter. AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC now owns 68,802 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,353,000 after buying an additional 49,291 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its holdings in Centene by 51.6% in the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 43,993 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,423,000 after buying an additional 14,983 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in shares of Centene by 96.3% during the 3rd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 807,479 shares of the company’s stock valued at $62,831,000 after acquiring an additional 396,087 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Eaton Vance Management lifted its holdings in shares of Centene by 56.8% during the 3rd quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 676,850 shares of the company’s stock worth $52,665,000 after acquiring an additional 245,239 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.28% of the company’s stock.

Centene Price Performance

Shares of NYSE CNC opened at $64.17 on Tuesday. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $73.22 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $79.45. Centene Co. has a fifty-two week low of $63.99 and a fifty-two week high of $98.53. The firm has a market cap of $35.37 billion, a PE ratio of 31.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.76 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74.

Centene (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 7th. The company reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.87 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $35.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $35.37 billion. Centene had a net margin of 0.83% and a return on equity of 12.98%. The company’s revenue was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.01 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect that Centene Co. will post 6.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Centene announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Friday, December 16th that authorizes the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 4.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Mizuho cut their price target on shares of Centene from $92.00 to $80.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 28th. Cowen cut their target price on Centene from $101.00 to $97.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 14th. The Goldman Sachs Group lowered their price target on Centene from $97.00 to $74.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 8th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Centene from $103.00 to $94.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 9th. Finally, Bank of America lowered shares of Centene from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and cut their price target for the company from $100.00 to $85.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Centene presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $96.94.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other news, CFO Andrew Lynn Asher bought 3,000 shares of Centene stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 9th. The shares were bought at an average price of $71.89 per share, with a total value of $215,670.00. Following the acquisition, the chief financial officer now directly owns 310,955 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,354,554.95. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In other Centene news, CFO Andrew Lynn Asher bought 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 9th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $71.89 per share, with a total value of $215,670.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 310,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,354,554.95. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO James E. Murray purchased 6,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 8th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $73.30 per share, with a total value of $494,775.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief operating officer now directly owns 136,220 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,984,926. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders bought 16,750 shares of company stock worth $1,213,605. Corporate insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

Centene Profile

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Centene Corp. operates as a healthcare enterprise, which engages in the provision of programs and services to government sponsored healthcare programs. It operates through the following segments: Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Medicaid Managed Care segment provides health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs through Medicaid.

See Also

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding CNC? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Centene Co. (NYSE:CNCGet Rating).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Centene (NYSE:CNC)

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