WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, November 2nd. 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.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Monday, October 16th. They issued an outperform rating and a $215.00 price target on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a buy rating and issued a $195.00 price target on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Saturday, August 26th. Cowen and Company started coverage on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Monday, October 9th. They set an outperform rating and a $200.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of WellCare Health Plans from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Bank of America Corporation increased their price target on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $185.00 to $189.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $200.20.

Shares of WellCare Health Plans (WCG) traded up $3.42 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $202.69. 309,852 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 364,565. WellCare Health Plans has a 12-month low of $130.38 and a 12-month high of $208.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 1.28 and a current ratio of 1.28. The firm has a market cap of $8,870.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.43, a PEG ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 0.81.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $4.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.90 by $2.18. WellCare Health Plans had a net margin of 2.21% and a return on equity of 19.42%. The company had revenue of $4.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.37 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.63 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 22.8% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that WellCare Health Plans will post 8.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CEO Kenneth A. Burdick sold 8,500 shares of the company’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 transaction of $1,481,040.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 23,627 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,116,768.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Carol Burt sold 997 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $202.20, for a total transaction of $201,593.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.47% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,260,559 shares of the company’s stock worth $765,026,000 after buying an additional 65,439 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 1,544,686 shares of the company’s stock worth $277,365,000 after buying an additional 27,855 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors bought a new position in shares of WellCare Health Plans in the 2nd quarter worth $170,042,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 37.7% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 851,293 shares of the company’s stock worth $152,858,000 after buying an additional 232,993 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. increased its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 60.1% in the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 594,925 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,172,000 after buying an additional 223,364 shares during the last quarter. 97.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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