WellCare Health Plans (WCG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “WellCare Health’s shares have outperformed its industry in a year’s time. Moreover, the company has witnessed its 2019 and 2020 earnings estimates move upward over the last seven days. The company’s revenues have been growing since 2006, driven by an increase in membership and certain growth strategies. Its organic growth is well complemented with a number of accretive acquisitions and partnerships. Its membership is also likely to grow going forward. A rise in 2019 earnings guidance instills investor’s confidence in the company. However, the company’s rising debt level, having induced high interest expenses, hurts the bottom line. A continuous increase in total expenses due to higher medical and pharmacy costs, selling, general and administrative expenses as well as operating costs also weighs on its margins.”

WCG has been the subject of several other research reports. Cowen initiated coverage on WellCare Health Plans in a report on Thursday, February 28th. They issued an outperform rating for the company. ValuEngine downgraded WellCare Health Plans from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on WellCare Health Plans to $330.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. Stephens initiated coverage on WellCare Health Plans in a report on Monday, January 14th. They issued an overweight rating and a $276.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Wolfe Research raised WellCare Health Plans from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, January 3rd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $306.47.

NYSE:WCG opened at $252.29 on Thursday. WellCare Health Plans has a twelve month low of $199.23 and a twelve month high of $324.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 1.36. The company has a market cap of $12.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.87, a PEG ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 1.24.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.63 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.55 by $0.08. WellCare Health Plans had a return on equity of 15.39% and a net margin of 2.15%. The firm had revenue of $5.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.85 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.32 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 37.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that WellCare Health Plans will post 13.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. We Are One Seven LLC acquired a new stake in WellCare Health Plans during the 4th quarter valued at $27,000. Trust Co. of Vermont acquired a new stake in WellCare Health Plans during the 4th quarter valued at $27,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in WellCare Health Plans by 766.7% during the 1st quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 104 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,000 after purchasing an additional 92 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in WellCare Health Plans by 1,425.0% during the 4th quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 122 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,000 after purchasing an additional 114 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kaizen Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in WellCare Health Plans during the 4th quarter valued at $29,000. 98.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

WellCare Health Plans Company Profile

WellCare Health Plans, Inc provides government-sponsored managed care services. The company operates in three segments: Medicaid Health Plans, Medicare Health Plans, and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs). The Medicaid Health Plans segment offers plans for beneficiaries of temporary assistance for needy families, supplemental security income, and aged blind and disabled residents; and other state-based programs, such as children's health insurance programs and long-term services and supports programs for qualifying families who are not eligible for Medicaid.

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