Shares of Benefitfocus Inc. (NASDAQ:BNFT) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Buy” by the ten brokerages that are currently covering the company. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $47.00.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on BNFT. RBC Capital Markets reiterated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $46.00 target price (up previously from $36.00) on shares of Benefitfocus in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of Benefitfocus in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price objective on shares of Benefitfocus from $36.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Jefferies Group raised their price objective on shares of Benefitfocus from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on shares of Benefitfocus from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) opened at 26.95 on Thursday. Benefitfocus has a 12 month low of $21.04 and a 12 month high of $44.98. The firm’s market capitalization is $801.76 million. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $35.70 and a 200 day moving average of $38.34.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported ($0.29) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.32) by $0.03. The business earned $52 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $57.68 million. Benefitfocus’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned ($0.46) EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Benefitfocus will post ($0.77) earnings per share for the current year.

In other Benefitfocus news, COO Raymond Alexander August sold 16,408 shares of Benefitfocus stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.66, for a total transaction of $650,741.28. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 198,102 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,856,725.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Shawn A. Jenkins sold 10,000 shares of Benefitfocus stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.03, for a total transaction of $420,300.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 2,290,896 shares in the company, valued at $96,286,358.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 45.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in Benefitfocus during the second quarter valued at approximately $111,000. Societe Generale acquired a new position in Benefitfocus during the second quarter valued at approximately $111,000. Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Benefitfocus during the second quarter valued at approximately $122,000. Two Sigma Advisers LP acquired a new position in Benefitfocus during the third quarter valued at approximately $228,000. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its position in Benefitfocus by 48.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 6,233 shares of the company’s stock valued at $238,000 after buying an additional 2,026 shares during the period. 84.46% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Benefitfocus

Benefitfocus, Inc (Benefitfocus) provides cloud-based benefits software solutions for consumers, employers, insurance carriers and brokers. The Benefitfocus Platform allows how organizations and individuals shop for, enroll in, manage and exchange benefits. It operates through two business segments: Employer, which derives its revenue from customers that use the Company’s services for the provision of benefits to their employees, and administrators acting on behalf of employers, Carrier, which derives its revenue from insurance companies that provide coverage at their own risk.

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