Centene Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (CNC)

Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Traders acquired 4,216 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,256% compared to the average daily volume of 311 put options.

Shares of CNC stock opened at $135.44 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $29.20 billion, a PE ratio of 26.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.03. Centene has a 12-month low of $94.69 and a 12-month high of $148.98.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The company reported $1.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.77 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $16.18 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.93 billion. Centene had a return on equity of 14.42% and a net margin of 1.58%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 36.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.35 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Centene will post 7.05 earnings per share for the current year.



A number of analysts have weighed in on CNC shares. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group started coverage on Centene in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $170.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Centene from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 4th. Oppenheimer upped their target price on Centene from $146.00 to $158.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on Centene from $134.00 to $152.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Centene from $138.00 to $175.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $151.67.

In other Centene news, Director Robert K. Ditmore sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $129.24, for a total transaction of $1,938,600.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Keith H. Williamson sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $145.00, for a total value of $290,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 35,800 shares of company stock valued at $4,957,590. 3.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Csenge Advisory Group acquired a new position in shares of Centene during the third quarter worth $105,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the 3rd quarter valued at $106,000. Capital Guardian Trust Co. acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the 3rd quarter valued at $111,000. Fort L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the 2nd quarter valued at $122,000. Finally, Resources Management Corp CT ADV acquired a new position in shares of Centene in the 3rd quarter valued at $155,000. 88.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Further Reading: Debt-To-Equity Ratio

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