Humana (HUM) Reaches New 12-Month High on Strong Earnings

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Shares of Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The stock traded as high as $354.61 and last traded at $352.10, with a volume of 756680 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $331.81.

The insurance provider reported $4.58 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $4.29 by $0.29. Humana had a net margin of 2.48% and a return on equity of 17.43%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $3.39 EPS.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 25th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 28th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.56%. Humana’s payout ratio is 17.08%.

A number of research analysts have commented on HUM shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Humana from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Bank of America upped their target price on shares of Humana from $338.00 to $375.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $355.00 target price on shares of Humana in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. Cowen started coverage on shares of Humana in a research report on Monday, September 17th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $372.00 target price on the stock. Finally, SunTrust Banks upped their target price on shares of Humana to $380.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $339.79.

In other Humana news, insider Elizabeth D. Bierbower sold 3,092 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $330.00, for a total transaction of $1,020,360.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 14,289 shares in the company, valued at $4,715,370. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Bruce D. Broussard sold 18,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the chief executive officer now owns 71,085 shares in the company, valued at $23,362,796.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Raymond James Trust N.A. increased its stake in shares of Humana by 19.8% during the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 956 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $284,000 after buying an additional 158 shares during the period. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. increased its stake in shares of Humana by 41.9% during the third quarter. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. now owns 562 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $179,000 after buying an additional 166 shares during the period. Trust Co increased its stake in shares of Humana by 7.7% during the first quarter. Trust Co now owns 2,326 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $625,000 after buying an additional 167 shares during the period. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Humana by 27.9% during the second quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 780 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $232,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the period. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Humana by 5.3% during the second quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 3,604 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,073,000 after buying an additional 180 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 92.62% of the company’s stock.

The company has a current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. The company has a market capitalization of $44.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.16, a P/E/G ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 1.03.

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About Humana (NYSE:HUM)

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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