Centene Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (NYSE:CNC)

Centene Co. (NYSE:CNCGet Free Report) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Traders acquired 13,420 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 215% compared to the typical daily volume of 4,266 put options.

Centene Price Performance

Shares of NYSE CNC opened at $68.96 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $36.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.71, a PEG ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 0.41. Centene has a 12 month low of $60.83 and a 12 month high of $81.42. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $74.99 and its 200-day simple moving average is $75.61. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 1.17 and a quick ratio of 1.17.

Centene (NYSE:CNCGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 26th. The company reported $2.26 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.09 by $0.17. Centene had a net margin of 1.76% and a return on equity of 14.19%. The business had revenue of $40.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $36.43 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.11 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Centene will post 6.82 EPS for the current year.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other news, Director Christopher J. Coughlin sold 878 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.75, for a total value of $67,386.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 25,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,957,432. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. In other news, Director Christopher J. Coughlin sold 878 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.75, for a total value of $67,386.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 25,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,957,432. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, President Kenneth J. Fasola sold 8,000 shares of Centene stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.62, for a total transaction of $620,960.00. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 300,357 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $23,313,710.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.33% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CNC. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Centene in the 4th quarter valued at $1,325,441,000. Swedbank AB purchased a new position in Centene in the 1st quarter valued at $914,080,000. Harris Associates L P lifted its holdings in Centene by 172.8% in the 4th quarter. Harris Associates L P now owns 10,863,367 shares of the company’s stock valued at $806,170,000 after purchasing an additional 6,881,450 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors lifted its holdings in Centene by 60.2% in the 1st quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 5,216,486 shares of the company’s stock valued at $409,390,000 after purchasing an additional 1,959,460 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC lifted its holdings in Centene by 535.9% in the 4th quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 1,837,980 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,396,000 after purchasing an additional 1,548,961 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.63% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A number of analysts have recently commented on CNC shares. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their price target on shares of Centene from $81.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 30th. Stephens restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $83.00 target price on shares of Centene in a research report on Thursday. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their target price on shares of Centene from $89.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 15th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated an “overweight” rating and set a $90.00 target price on shares of Centene in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. Finally, StockNews.com upgraded shares of Centene from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 29th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $84.93.

View Our Latest Research Report on CNC

About Centene

(Get Free Report)

Centene Corporation operates as a healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured families, commercial organizations, and military families in the United States. The company operates through Medicaid, Medicare, Commercial, and Other segments. The Medicaid segment offers health plan coverage, including medicaid expansion, aged, blind, disabled, children's health insurance program, foster care, medicare-medicaid plans, long-term services and support.

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