Zacks Investment Research Upgrades WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) to Buy

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, November 2nd. They currently have $221.00 price objective 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 equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a buy rating and issued a $214.00 price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. BidaskClub cut WellCare Health Plans from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group initiated coverage on WellCare Health Plans in a report on Thursday, September 21st. They issued an overweight rating and a $204.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine raised WellCare Health Plans from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $188.00 price target (up previously from $175.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $195.27.

WellCare Health Plans (WCG) traded down $1.54 during trading on Thursday, reaching $200.11. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 324,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 365,341. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51. The stock has a market cap of $8,977.77, a P/E ratio of 21.82, a PEG ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.81. WellCare Health Plans has a twelve month low of $125.00 and a twelve month high of $208.89.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $4.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.90 by $2.18. The business had revenue of $4.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.37 billion. WellCare Health Plans had a return on equity of 19.42% and a net margin of 2.21%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.63 EPS. analysts expect that WellCare Health Plans will post 8.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other WellCare Health Plans news, Director Carol Burt sold 997 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $202.20, for a total value of $201,593.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Kenneth A. Burdick sold 8,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 23,627 shares in the company, valued at $4,116,768.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of WellCare Health Plans during the third quarter worth about $103,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of WellCare Health Plans during the second quarter worth about $121,000. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 8.4% during the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 866 shares of the company’s stock worth $155,000 after purchasing an additional 67 shares during the last quarter. Eagle Global Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of WellCare Health Plans during the second quarter worth about $211,000. Finally, Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd grew its holdings in shares of WellCare Health Plans by 29.3% during the second quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd now owns 1,318 shares of the company’s stock worth $237,000 after purchasing an additional 299 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 98.17% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG)

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