WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) has been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the sixteen brokerages that are covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $179.27.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on WCG shares. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $170.00 price target on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Thursday, June 8th. Morgan Stanley started coverage on WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $183.00 price target for the company. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on WellCare Health Plans from $185.00 to $192.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Leerink Swann reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $225.00 price target (up from $185.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded WellCare Health Plans from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $193.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, August 11th.

In other WellCare Health Plans news, CFO Andrew Lynn Asher sold 7,314 shares of WellCare Health Plans stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $175.04, for a total transaction of $1,280,242.56. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 13,244 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,318,229.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Paul E. Weaver sold 2,000 shares of WellCare Health Plans stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $175.44, for a total value of $350,880.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 15,262 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,677,565.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 20,688 shares of company stock valued at $3,592,329. Corporate insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 13.4% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 392,226 shares of the company’s stock valued at $54,994,000 after buying an additional 46,415 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its stake in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 29.3% in the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 67,549 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,473,000 after buying an additional 15,299 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank raised its stake in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 0.5% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 73,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,263,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Globeflex Capital L P raised its stake in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 36.6% in the first quarter. Globeflex Capital L P now owns 6,431 shares of the company’s stock valued at $902,000 after buying an additional 1,723 shares during the period. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its stake in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 9.1% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 7,009 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,259,000 after buying an additional 587 shares during the period. 97.81% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of WellCare Health Plans (NYSE WCG) opened at 175.45 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $176.01 and its 200-day moving average price is $163.44. WellCare Health Plans has a 52-week low of $109.74 and a 52-week high of $184.88. The company has a market capitalization of $7.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.82 and a beta of 0.84.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The company reported $2.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $4.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.23 billion. WellCare Health Plans had a return on equity of 14.91% and a net margin of 1.66%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 19.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.23 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that WellCare Health Plans will post $6.99 earnings per share for the current year.

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About WellCare Health Plans

WellCare Health Plans, Inc is a managed care company. The Company focuses on government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs), to families, children, seniors and individuals with medical needs. The Company operates through three segments: Medicaid Health Plans, Medicare Health Plans and Medicare PDPs.

Analyst Recommendations for WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG)

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