Molina Healthcare Inc. (NYSE:MOH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Molina Healthcare has been witnessing a steady increase in premiums and service revenues over the past several quarters due to the persistent growth in membership. It has taken up several inorganic growth initiatives to provide health care services to patients with complex requirements. The company’s third quarter 2016 earnings per share of $0.85 handily beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.8%, and was up 10.4% year over year. Strong results were driven by a reduction in administrative expense ratio, lower effective tax rate and improved profitability among non-marketplace products. However, Molina Healthcare suffers from rising medical care costs. The company’s dependence on debt financing has also resulted in higher interest expenses, which in turn, has adversely affected its financials.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered shares of Molina Healthcare from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $63.00 to $47.00 in a research note on Friday, November 11th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded shares of Molina Healthcare from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $51.00 to $58.00 in a research note on Monday, September 19th. Jefferies Group raised their price target on shares of Molina Healthcare from $63.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “hold” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Molina Healthcare in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Leerink Swann restated a “buy” rating on shares of Molina Healthcare in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.70.

Analyst Recommendations for Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH)

Shares of Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) opened at 52.31 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $55.81 and a 200-day moving average price of $53.31. The stock has a market cap of $2.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.88 and a beta of 1.19. Molina Healthcare has a 1-year low of $44.50 and a 1-year high of $67.87.

Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.09. Molina Healthcare had a net margin of 0.76% and a return on equity of 9.38%. The company had revenue of $4.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.37 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.89 earnings per share. Molina Healthcare’s revenue was up 24.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Molina Healthcare will post $2.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Dale B. Wolf sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.63, for a total value of $172,890.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 16,071 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $926,171.73. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Garrey Carruthers sold 1,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.46, for a total transaction of $88,736.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 9,508 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $527,313.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.89% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Capital World Investors raised its position in Molina Healthcare by 1.5% in the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 5,511,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $321,402,000 after buying an additional 80,000 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in Molina Healthcare by 19.1% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,889,503 shares of the company’s stock worth $94,286,000 after buying an additional 302,851 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in Molina Healthcare by 4.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,300,684 shares of the company’s stock worth $75,856,000 after buying an additional 53,581 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its position in Molina Healthcare by 4.6% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 1,241,394 shares of the company’s stock worth $61,945,000 after buying an additional 54,312 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Molina Healthcare by 29.7% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 945,234 shares of the company’s stock worth $55,126,000 after buying an additional 216,321 shares in the last quarter. 88.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Molina Healthcare Company Profile

Molina Healthcare, Inc offers Medicaid-related solutions for low-income families and individuals, and assists government agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program. The Company operates through three segments: Health Plans, Molina Medicaid Solutions and Other. Its Health Plans segment consists of health plans in approximately 10 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and its direct delivery business.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MOH

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Molina Healthcare Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Molina Healthcare Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.