Benefitfocus Inc (NASDAQ:BNFT) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 4,310,000 shares, a decline of 5.1% from the August 30th total of 4,540,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 371,200 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 11.6 days. Approximately 15.1% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in BNFT. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new position in shares of Benefitfocus in the 1st quarter valued at about $11,546,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Benefitfocus by 16,331.5% in the 1st quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 163,165 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $8,080,000 after purchasing an additional 162,172 shares during the period. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Benefitfocus by 26.6% in the 1st quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,849 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $587,000 after purchasing an additional 2,487 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY lifted its stake in shares of Benefitfocus by 21.2% in the 1st quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 8,535 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $422,000 after purchasing an additional 1,493 shares during the period. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC acquired a new position in shares of Benefitfocus in the 2nd quarter valued at about $393,000. 97.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ:BNFT opened at $23.18 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $757.92 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -15.56 and a beta of 1.29. The business’s 50-day moving average is $24.63 and its 200-day moving average is $29.32. Benefitfocus has a 1 year low of $21.60 and a 1 year high of $60.66.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 6th. The software maker reported ($0.42) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.64) by $0.22. The business had revenue of $68.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $67.51 million. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.24) earnings per share. Research analysts predict that Benefitfocus will post -1.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of research firms have commented on BNFT. Raymond James set a $30.00 price target on Benefitfocus and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Cantor Fitzgerald reduced their price target on Benefitfocus from $60.00 to $47.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Benefitfocus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. Chardan Capital reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $27.00 price target on shares of Benefitfocus in a research report on Thursday, August 22nd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $46.00 price target on shares of Benefitfocus in a research report on Thursday, August 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $43.09.

Benefitfocus Company Profile

Benefitfocus, Inc provides cloud-based benefits management platform for consumers, employers, insurance carriers, suppliers, and brokers in the United States. The company operates through Employer and Carrier segments. Its products for insurance carriers include BenefitsPlace, a transaction-oriented, marketplace solution; eEnrollment that provides online enrollment for benefits; eBilling, an electronic invoice presentment and payment solution; eExchange, a solution that bridges the integration gap between carrier and employer systems; eSales for carriers and brokers tools to organize and manage accounts, track leads, generate quotes, and create proposals for various products; and Core & Advanced Analytics, a data analytics solution.

Further Reading: What is the price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio?

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