Cerner Co. (NASDAQ:CERN) was the target of a large decrease in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,450,000 shares, a decrease of 67.0% from the December 15th total of 13,480,000 shares. Approximately 1.5% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 4,390,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.0 days.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on CERN. Barclays raised their price target on Cerner from $77.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, November 1st. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded Cerner from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $86.00 to $95.00 in a research note on Monday, December 20th. downgraded Cerner from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, December 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Cerner from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, December 6th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Cerner from $85.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $86.64.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Griffin Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Cerner by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. now owns 24,534 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,730,000 after buying an additional 135 shares during the period. Independent Advisor Alliance lifted its holdings in shares of Cerner by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance now owns 5,147 shares of the company’s stock valued at $402,000 after buying an additional 137 shares during the period. Ethic Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Cerner by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. Ethic Inc. now owns 3,681 shares of the company’s stock valued at $288,000 after buying an additional 148 shares during the period. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH lifted its holdings in shares of Cerner by 2.0% in the 3rd quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 7,650 shares of the company’s stock valued at $539,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. Finally, Motley Fool Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Cerner by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. Motley Fool Wealth Management LLC now owns 59,756 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,214,000 after buying an additional 151 shares during the period. 85.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 28th. The company reported $0.86 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $1.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.45 billion. Cerner had a return on equity of 19.54% and a net margin of 9.15%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.60 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Cerner will post 2.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 27th were issued a $0.27 dividend. This is a boost from Cerner’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.17%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 23rd. Cerner’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 62.79%.
Cerner Company Profile
Cerner Corp. designs, develops, markets, installs, hosts and supports health care information technology, health care devices, hardware and content solutions for health care organizations and consumers. The company also provides value-added services, including implementation and training, remote hosting, operational management services, revenue cycle services, support and maintenance, health care data analysis, clinical process optimization, transaction processing, employee wellness programs and third party administrator services for employer-based health plans.
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