Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) by 2.2% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 273,300 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 5,863 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned approximately 0.16% of Centene Corporation worth $19,475,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Centene Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $93,255,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its position in Centene Corporation by 271.2% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,799,160 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,208,000 after buying an additional 1,314,514 shares during the period. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Centene Corporation by 1,534.7% in the first quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,369,670 shares of the company’s stock valued at $97,603,000 after buying an additional 1,285,885 shares during the period. Viking Global Investors LP boosted its position in Centene Corporation by 102.5% in the fourth quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 1,653,652 shares of the company’s stock valued at $93,448,000 after buying an additional 836,980 shares during the period. Finally, Appaloosa LP bought a new position in Centene Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at about $44,360,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.78% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC)

Shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE CNC) traded up 0.4674% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $78.9975. 200,077 shares of the company traded hands. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $75.99 and its 200 day moving average is $68.21. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.4479 and a beta of 0.55. Centene Corporation has a 12-month low of $50.00 and a 12-month high of $79.50.

Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 25th. The company reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $11.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.44 billion. Centene Corporation had a net margin of 1.57% and a return on equity of 14.19%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 68.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.74 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Centene Corporation will post $4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

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Several research analysts have recently issued reports on CNC shares. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $85.00 price objective on shares of Centene Corporation in a report on Saturday, March 11th. Deutsche Bank AG started coverage on shares of Centene Corporation in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $84.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $85.00 price objective (up from $83.00) on shares of Centene Corporation in a report on Saturday, April 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Centene Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. cut shares of Centene Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $73.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Thursday, March 23rd. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Centene Corporation presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $79.68.

In other news, Director Richard A. Gephardt sold 4,350 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.38, for a total value of $336,603.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Robert K. Ditmore sold 4,167 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.43, for a total transaction of $301,815.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 28,728 shares of company stock valued at $2,117,100. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Centene Corporation Company Profile

Centene Corporation is a healthcare company. The Company provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. The Company operates through two segments: Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Company’s Managed Care segment provides health plan coverage to individuals, through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Long Term Care, Foster Care, dual-eligible individuals (Duals) and the Supplemental Security Income Program, also known as the Aged, Blind or Disabled Program (ABD), Medicare, and Health Insurance Marketplace.

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