Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Friday morning. They currently have $193.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “In the last one year, Wellcare Health’s shares have outperformed the industry. The company’s strong robust inorganic growth is impressive. Its second-quarter 2017 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also grew year over year on higher revenues. The recent acquisition of Care1st Arizona is expected to further help it in growing faster. Its healthy balance sheet continues to support its operational and financial excellence. It has also been witnessing revenue growth over the last six years. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for both 2017 and 2018 has been significantly revised upward in the last seven days. However, the company faces intense competition and stringent regulation because of its geographically diverse operations. Rising level of expenses and mounting level of debt also hurt the bottom line.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $183.00 to $184.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. BidaskClub lowered shares of WellCare Health Plans from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Bank of America Corporation increased their price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $185.00 to $189.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of WellCare Health Plans from $185.00 to $192.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $163.00 price objective (up previously from $155.00) on shares of WellCare Health Plans in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. WellCare Health Plans has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $172.00.

WellCare Health Plans (WCG) opened at 174.33 on Friday. WellCare Health Plans has a 12 month low of $109.74 and a 12 month high of $184.88. The firm has a market cap of $7.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.63 and a beta of 0.84. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $179.43 and its 200-day moving average price is $161.01.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 4th. The company reported $2.52 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.29. The firm had revenue of $4.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.23 billion. WellCare Health Plans had a net margin of 1.66% and a return on equity of 14.91%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.23 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that WellCare Health Plans will post $6.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Glenn Md Phd Steele, Jr. sold 8,374 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $171.97, for a total value of $1,440,076.78. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,722 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $984,012.34. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Michael Troy Meyer sold 600 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction, the vice president now directly owns 73 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,545.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 21,288 shares of company stock valued at $3,695,445. 0.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WCG. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its position in WellCare Health Plans by 1.8% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 500,291 shares of the company’s stock valued at $70,147,000 after buying an additional 9,040 shares during the period. ARP Americas LLC increased its position 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 during the period. Sapphire Star Partners LP acquired a new position in WellCare Health Plans during the first quarter valued at approximately $237,000. Sawgrass Asset Management LLC increased its position in WellCare Health Plans by 21.1% in the first quarter. Sawgrass Asset Management LLC now owns 11,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,658,000 after buying an additional 2,060 shares during the period. Finally, Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC increased its position in WellCare Health Plans by 68.9% in the first quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC now owns 60,060 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,421,000 after buying an additional 24,500 shares during the period. 98.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG)

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