Benefitfocus (BNFT) Cut to Strong Sell at BidaskClub

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) was downgraded by investment analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, May 10th, BidAskClub reports.

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on BNFT. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 10th. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Benefitfocus in a report on Friday, February 1st. Jefferies Financial Group downgraded shares of Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and increased their price target for the company from $48.00 to $55.00 in a report on Wednesday, February 27th. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded shares of Benefitfocus from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $58.00 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, February 27th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald assumed coverage on shares of Benefitfocus in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $60.00 price target for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.73.

Shares of BNFT traded down $1.10 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $31.76. 424,215 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 568,388. Benefitfocus has a twelve month low of $29.60 and a twelve month high of $60.66. The firm has a market cap of $1.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -21.32 and a beta of 1.30.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The software maker reported ($0.21) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.20) by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $68.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $67.77 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.26) earnings per share. Research analysts anticipate that Benefitfocus will post -1.6 EPS for the current year.

In other Benefitfocus news, insider Raymond Alexander August bought 3,200 shares of Benefitfocus stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 13th. The shares were bought at an average price of $31.15 per share, with a total value of $99,680.00. Following the purchase, the insider now owns 511,925 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,946,463.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Francis J. Pelzer sold 1,630 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.04, for a total transaction of $97,865.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,145 shares in the company, valued at approximately $969,345.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 3,761,016 shares of company stock valued at $176,051,313 in the last quarter. 29.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BNFT. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Benefitfocus by 33.2% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,272,385 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $112,527,000 after acquiring an additional 565,810 shares during the last quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC boosted its stake in Benefitfocus by 41.9% during the 1st quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 1,637,000 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $81,064,000 after acquiring an additional 483,700 shares during the last quarter. Rothschild & Co. Asset Management US Inc. bought a new position in Benefitfocus during the 1st quarter worth approximately $21,087,000. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P bought a new position in Benefitfocus during the 1st quarter worth approximately $19,845,000. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Benefitfocus by 495.4% during the 1st quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 339,085 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $16,792,000 after acquiring an additional 282,135 shares during the last quarter. 87.49% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Benefitfocus Company Profile

Benefitfocus, Inc provides cloud-based benefits management platform for consumers, employers, insurance carriers, suppliers, and brokers in the United States. The company operates through Employer and Carrier segments. Its products for insurance carriers include BenefitsPlace, a transaction-oriented, marketplace solution; eEnrollment that provides online enrollment for benefits; eBilling, an electronic invoice presentment and payment solution; eExchange, a solution that bridges the integration gap between carrier and employer systems; eSales for carriers and brokers tools to organize and manage accounts, track leads, generate quotes, and create proposals for various products; and Core & Advanced Analytics, a data analytics solution.

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Analyst Recommendations for Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT)

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