Deutsche Bank started coverage on shares of Centene (NYSE:CNC) in a research note released on Thursday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm issued a buy rating and a $62.00 price target on the stock.

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Centene from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Centene from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $49.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, September 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on shares of Centene from $71.00 to $64.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $73.10.

Centene stock traded up $0.73 during trading on Thursday, reaching $45.62. The stock had a trading volume of 4,158,056 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,019,593. Centene has a 52-week low of $44.50 and a 52-week high of $74.49. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $48.36 and a 200 day moving average price of $53.23. The company has a quick ratio of 1.07, a current ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The stock has a market cap of $19.57 billion, a PE ratio of 12.89, a P/E/G ratio of 0.75 and a beta of 0.85.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The company reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $18.36 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.02 billion. Centene had a net margin of 1.84% and a return on equity of 15.87%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 29.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.90 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Centene will post 4.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Jessica L. Blume acquired 2,850 shares of Centene stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 26th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $52.99 per share, for a total transaction of $151,021.50. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 2.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Centene by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 42,806,796 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,244,788,000 after purchasing an additional 539,794 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Centene by 101.6% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 36,536,247 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,940,075,000 after purchasing an additional 18,409,531 shares during the last quarter. Viking Global Investors LP raised its position in Centene by 233.3% in the 2nd quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 13,994,550 shares of the company’s stock valued at $733,874,000 after purchasing an additional 9,795,824 shares during the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. raised its position in Centene by 91.2% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 6,368,307 shares of the company’s stock valued at $333,956,000 after purchasing an additional 3,037,351 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Maverick Capital Ltd. raised its position in Centene by 57.4% in the 2nd quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. now owns 6,123,308 shares of the company’s stock valued at $321,106,000 after purchasing an additional 2,233,222 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.76% of the company’s stock.

About Centene

Centene Corporation operates as a diversified and multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. The company's 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 covers dually eligible individuals, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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Analyst Recommendations for Centene (NYSE:CNC)

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