Cerner (CERN) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Cerner continues to gain from its Population Health, Revenue Cycle and ITWorks platforms. Solid year-over-year bookings growth is a positive. Gains in Professional and Managed Services units buoy optimism. Management is optimistic about the alliance with Lumeris, signed earlier this year. Continued activity with the Department of Veterans Affairs encourages. A strong fourth-quarter and full-year outlook is heartening. However, Cerner’s key Licensed Software and Subscriptions revenue segments have been witnessing some sluggishness in recent times. In fact, management expects low Licensed Software bookings to affect total bookings in the quarters to come. Contraction in gross and operating margins adds to the woes. High long-term debt and competition in the global MedTech space raise concern. Cerner underperformed the industry in a year's time.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on Cerner from $64.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. Barclays decreased their price target on Cerner from $70.00 to $67.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 26th. BidaskClub upgraded Cerner from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a buy rating and set a $71.00 price target on shares of Cerner in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on Cerner from $62.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 25th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $69.98.

Cerner stock traded up $0.58 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $57.17. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 14,999 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,335,407. The firm has a market capitalization of $18.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.00, a PEG ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.96. Cerner has a 1 year low of $50.91 and a 1 year high of $73.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09, a quick ratio of 2.60 and a current ratio of 2.63.

Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.58 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $1.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.36 billion. Cerner had a return on equity of 14.73% and a net margin of 15.72%. Analysts forecast that Cerner will post 2.22 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Vice Chairman Clifford W. Illig sold 250,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.53, for a total value of $14,382,500.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,229,719 shares in the company, valued at $70,745,734.07. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Vice Chairman Clifford W. Illig sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.19, for a total value of $285,950.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 1,229,719 shares in the company, valued at $70,327,629.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 1,071,496 shares of company stock worth $67,071,136. Insiders own 4.71% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CERN. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Cerner by 0.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,956,604 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,349,817,000 after buying an additional 177,979 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Cerner by 191,922.4% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 15,043,035 shares of the company’s stock valued at $968,920,000 after buying an additional 15,035,201 shares in the last quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P raised its stake in Cerner by 1.1% in the third quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 13,104,765 shares of the company’s stock valued at $844,078,000 after buying an additional 141,745 shares in the last quarter. Parnassus Investments CA raised its stake in Cerner by 178.1% in the second quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 7,207,631 shares of the company’s stock valued at $430,944,000 after buying an additional 4,616,290 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Veritas Asset Management LLP raised its stake in Cerner by 25.7% in the second quarter. Veritas Asset Management LLP now owns 4,586,572 shares of the company’s stock valued at $274,231,000 after buying an additional 937,800 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.14% of the company’s stock.

About Cerner

Cerner Corporation provides health care information technology solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company offers Cerner Millennium architecture, a person-centric computing framework, which includes clinical, financial, and management information systems that allow providers to access an individual's electronic health record (EHR) at the point of care, and organizes and delivers information for physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, front- and back-office professionals, and consumers.

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