Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Centene Co. (NYSE:CNC) to Post $1.51 Earnings Per Share

Equities research analysts forecast that Centene Co. (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) will announce $1.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seven analysts have provided estimates for Centene’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.45 to $1.75. Centene reported earnings of $1.25 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 20.8%. The company is expected to report its next earnings results on Monday, January 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Centene will report full-year earnings of $5.48 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.40 to $5.55. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the firm will report earnings of $6.28 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.07 to $6.40. Zacks’ EPS averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow Centene.

Centene (NYSE:CNCGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.83 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.68 by $0.15. Centene had a return on equity of 11.82% and a net margin of 1.12%. The firm had revenue of $37.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.48 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.63 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.0% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. Mizuho increased their price objective on Centene from $78.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 9th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on Centene in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “strong-buy” rating for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their target price on Centene from $84.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 9th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, Centene currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $91.61.

In other news, EVP Shannon Bagley sold 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, April 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.99, for a total value of $647,920.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 128,353 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,395,309.47. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Theodore R. Samuels II purchased 6,270 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 28th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $80.94 per share, with a total value of $507,493.80. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 11,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $890,340. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CNC. Norges Bank bought a new position in Centene during the 4th quarter worth $470,456,000. Capital World Investors grew its holdings in Centene by 8.6% during the 4th quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 46,851,859 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,860,593,000 after acquiring an additional 3,717,875 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its holdings in Centene by 14.3% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 26,720,429 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,249,594,000 after acquiring an additional 3,350,045 shares during the period. Altshuler Shaham Ltd grew its holdings in Centene by 62.7% during the 3rd quarter. Altshuler Shaham Ltd now owns 5,798,761 shares of the company’s stock worth $399,602,000 after acquiring an additional 2,234,509 shares during the period. Finally, Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. grew its holdings in Centene by 8,192.5% during the 4th quarter. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. now owns 1,640,417 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,169,000 after acquiring an additional 1,620,635 shares during the period. 92.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE CNC traded up $1.09 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $82.32. 2,570,823 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,707,386. The stock has a market cap of $48.15 billion, a PE ratio of 32.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 0.52. Centene has a one year low of $59.67 and a one year high of $89.92. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $84.55 and a 200-day moving average of $80.78. The company has a current ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68.

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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