Humana (HUM) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Humana (NYSE:HUM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $373.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 21.90% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Humana’s shares have outperformed its industry’s growth in a year’s time. Moreover, it has witnessed its 2018 and 2019 earnings estimates move upward over the past 30 days. The insurer is well-poised for growth on the back of its strong Medicare business. Its top line has been witnessing an uptrend for the past several years. Sufficient generation of cash flow has helped the company take up many capital deployment initiatives aimed at enhancing its shareholder value. Acquisitions and dispositions made by the company have also led to business growth over the last few quarters. However, its rising level of expenses since 2010 persistently weighs on the bottom line. The company expects to witness rise in benefit expenses which will lead to an overall increase in operating expenses going forward.”

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Humana from $400.00 to $418.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. BMO Capital Markets set a $390.00 price objective on shares of Humana and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price objective on shares of Humana from $318.00 to $349.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on Humana from $370.00 to $390.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Finally, Bank of America increased their target price on Humana from $400.00 to $415.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Humana has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $352.10.

Shares of NYSE:HUM opened at $306.00 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 1.68 and a quick ratio of 1.68. Humana has a 52-week low of $242.00 and a 52-week high of $355.88. The company has a market capitalization of $43.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.13, a PEG ratio of 1.50 and a beta of 0.99.

Humana (NYSE:HUM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The insurance provider reported $4.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.29 by $0.29. Humana had a net margin of 2.70% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The company had revenue of $14.21 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.97 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $3.39 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Humana will post 14.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Bruce D. Broussard sold 18,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $328.66, for a total transaction of $5,915,880.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 71,085 shares in the company, valued at $23,362,796.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Roy A. Beveridge sold 4,622 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $341.06, for a total value of $1,576,379.32. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 10,621 shares in the company, valued at $3,622,398.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. bought a new position in Humana during the third quarter worth $108,000. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. bought a new position in Humana during the third quarter worth $108,000. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its stake in Humana by 120.7% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 373 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 204 shares during the last quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. lifted its stake in Humana by 2,984.6% during the second quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 401 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $119,000 after purchasing an additional 388 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Smithfield Trust Co. lifted its stake in Humana by 531.2% during the third quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 486 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $165,000 after purchasing an additional 409 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.90% of the company’s stock.

Humana Company Profile

Humana Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a health and well-being company in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Retail; Group and Specialty; Healthcare Services; and Individual Commercial. The Retail segment offers Medicare and supplemental benefit plans to individuals or through group accounts.

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