WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, WellCare Health Plans stock has gained 33% outperforming the Zacks categorized Health Maintenance Organization industry that has increased only 22%. The outperformance was primarily driven by the company’s robust inorganic growth, particularly the recent acquisition of Care1st Arizona. The company's healthy balance sheet continues to drive its operational and financial excellence. The company has also been witnessing revenue growth since the last six years. The Zacks Consensus Earnings estimate for both 2017 and 2018 have significantly revised upward in last 60 days. However, WellCare Health Plans faces intense competition and stringent regulation because of its geographically diverse operations. The company is set to release its second quarter earnings on Aug 4, 2017 before the market opens.”

WCG has been the subject of a number of other reports. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $142.00 target price on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Bank of America Corporation increased their target price on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $185.00 to $189.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $163.00 target price (up from $155.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $185.00 to $192.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Leerink Swann reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $225.00 target price (up from $185.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $165.75.

Shares of WellCare Health Plans (NYSE WCG) opened at 181.47 on Monday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $178.50 and its 200 day moving average is $156.36. WellCare Health Plans has a 12 month low of $105.16 and a 12 month high of $184.88. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.86 and a beta of 0.85.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The company reported $1.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.42. WellCare Health Plans had a net margin of 1.85% and a return on equity of 14.75%. The firm had revenue of $3.95 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.85 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.06 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 11.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that WellCare Health Plans will post $6.86 EPS for the current year.

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In other WellCare Health Plans news, SVP Yount Michael sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.57, for a total value of $416,425.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 4,804 shares in the company, valued at approximately $800,202.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Michael Troy Meyer sold 600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $171.86, for a total transaction of $103,116.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 73 shares in the company, valued at $12,545.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 24,019 shares of company stock valued at $4,133,066. 0.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 1.1% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,539 shares of the company’s stock valued at $216,000 after buying an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning boosted its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 3.0% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 862 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 0.6% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,779 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,755,000 after buying an additional 63 shares in the last quarter. ARP Americas LLC boosted its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 2.0% in the first quarter. ARP Americas LLC now owns 3,354 shares of the company’s stock valued at $470,000 after buying an additional 67 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in WellCare Health Plans by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,875 shares of the company’s stock valued at $257,000 after buying an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.65% of the company’s stock.

WellCare Health Plans Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG)

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