Short Interest in Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) Grows By 8.0%

Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 34,460,000 shares, a growth of 8.0% from the August 30th total of 31,920,000 shares. Currently, 8.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 4,830,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 7.1 days.

Centene stock traded up $1.06 during trading on Thursday, reaching $46.60. 104,271 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,828,110. Centene has a 52-week low of $41.62 and a 52-week high of $74.49. The company has a market capitalization of $19.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.22, a PEG ratio of 0.70 and a beta of 0.86. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.07. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $45.08 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $50.81.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The company reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.10. Centene had a return on equity of 15.87% and a net margin of 1.84%. The company had revenue of $18.36 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.02 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.90 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 29.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Centene will post 4.42 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Jessica L. Blume purchased 2,850 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 26th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $52.99 per share, with a total value of $151,021.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 2.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc raised its holdings in shares of Centene by 7.2% in the 2nd quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 46,079 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,416,000 after buying an additional 3,079 shares during the period. Artemis Investment Management LLP raised its holdings in shares of Centene by 173.0% in the 2nd quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP now owns 463,362 shares of the company’s stock valued at $24,237,000 after buying an additional 293,654 shares during the period. AMF Pensionsforsakring AB raised its holdings in shares of Centene by 7.5% in the 2nd quarter. AMF Pensionsforsakring AB now owns 351,999 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,459,000 after buying an additional 24,640 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co raised its holdings in shares of Centene by 79.4% in the 2nd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 33,478 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,781,000 after buying an additional 14,815 shares during the period. Finally, Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Centene by 35.8% in the 2nd quarter. Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC now owns 15,533 shares of the company’s stock valued at $800,000 after buying an additional 4,098 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 96.88% of the company’s stock.

CNC has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. ValuEngine raised Centene from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on Centene from $64.00 to $62.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, September 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised Centene from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on Centene in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $62.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $71.28.

Centene Company Profile

Centene Corporation operates as a diversified and multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. The company's Managed Care segment offers health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State children's health insurance program, long-term services and support, foster care, and medicare-medicaid plans, which covers dually eligible individuals, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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