Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Thursday. They currently have $221.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “WellCare Health’s third-quarter 2017 earnings not only outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also increased significantly from the previous-year quarter on the back of strong results across its all three business lines. Its shares have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Its robust inorganic growth is impressive. The company’s healthy balance sheet continues to support its operational excellence. Wellcare Health has also been witnessing revenue growth over the last six years. Following the strong third-quarter  results, the company raised its guidance for 2017. However, its rising level of debt hurts the bottom line. Continuous increase in the total expenses also weighs on the margins.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a buy rating and set a $214.00 price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research note on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $185.00 to $192.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. BidaskClub lowered shares of WellCare Health Plans from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of WellCare Health Plans from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and set a $195.00 price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research note on Saturday, August 26th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $190.25.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) traded up $5.57 on Thursday, reaching $206.50. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 351,526 shares, compared to its average volume of 434,518. The company has a market cap of $8,945.72, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a quick ratio of 1.31, a current ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $4.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.90 by $2.18. The business had revenue of $4.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.37 billion. WellCare Health Plans had a net margin of 2.21% and a return on equity of 19.42%. WellCare Health Plans’s revenue was up 22.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.63 EPS. research analysts expect that WellCare Health Plans will post 8.27 EPS for the current year.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: “WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”” was posted by Watch List News and is owned by of Watch List News. If you are viewing this article on another site, it was copied illegally and republished in violation of US & international trademark and copyright law. The correct version of this article can be viewed at https://www.watchlistnews.com/wellcare-health-plans-inc-wcg-upgraded-by-zacks-investment-research-to-buy/1678958.html.

In related news, CEO Kenneth A. Burdick sold 8,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.24, for a total value of $1,481,040.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 23,627 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,116,768.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Glenn Md Phd Steele, Jr. sold 8,374 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $171.97, for a total transaction of $1,440,076.78. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,722 shares in the company, valued at approximately $984,012.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 9.1% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 58,653 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,528,000 after buying an additional 4,893 shares during the last quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP purchased a new position in WellCare Health Plans during the second quarter valued at approximately $7,486,000. State of Tennessee Treasury Department lifted its holdings in WellCare Health Plans by 25.0% during the second quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,978,000 after purchasing an additional 10,000 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in WellCare Health Plans by 3.2% during the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 6,372 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,144,000 after purchasing an additional 195 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Globeflex Capital L P lifted its holdings in WellCare Health Plans by 155.8% during the second quarter. Globeflex Capital L P now owns 16,449 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,954,000 after purchasing an additional 10,018 shares in the last quarter. 98.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

WellCare Health Plans Company Profile

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)

Receive News & Ratings for WellCare Health Plans Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for WellCare Health Plans Inc. and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.