Investors purchased shares of Centene Co. (NYSE:CNC) on weakness during trading on Wednesday. $46.84 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $20.80 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $26.04 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Centene had the 11th highest net in-flow for the day. Centene traded down ($0.04) for the day and closed at $113.06

Several brokerages recently commented on CNC. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Centene from $126.00 to $127.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Centene in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on Centene from $110.00 to $112.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Cantor Fitzgerald upped their target price on Centene from $115.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Leerink Swann reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $90.00 target price (down previously from $100.00) on shares of Centene in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $113.63.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01. The stock has a market cap of $23.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.48, a P/E/G ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 0.75.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 24th. The company reported $2.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.25. Centene had a return on equity of 15.69% and a net margin of 2.06%. The company had revenue of $13.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.33 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.12 earnings per share. Centene’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Centene Co. will post 7.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Keith H. Williamson sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total value of $110,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Michael F. Neidorff sold 250,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.20, for a total value of $27,050,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 265,550 shares of company stock valued at $28,712,209 over the last three months. 3.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. raised its stake in shares of Centene by 170.1% in the fourth quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 98,883 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,975,000 after purchasing an additional 62,277 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Centene by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,252,890 shares of the company’s stock valued at $226,889,000 after purchasing an additional 72,566 shares in the last quarter. AXA raised its stake in shares of Centene by 28.8% in the fourth quarter. AXA now owns 348,022 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,108,000 after purchasing an additional 77,825 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its stake in shares of Centene by 20.6% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 82,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,272,000 after purchasing an additional 14,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cornercap Investment Counsel Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the fourth quarter valued at $2,092,000. 77.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Centene

Centene Corporation operates as a diversified and multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. It operates through two segments, Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Managed Care segment offers health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State children's health insurance program, long-term care, foster care, and dual eligible individual, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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