Cerner Co. (CERN) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Cerner Co. (NASDAQ:CERN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Cerner reported mixed fourth-quarter 2016 results, wherein adjusted earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues missed the same. System sales witnessed a major deterioration on a year-over-year basis, owing to a decline in technology resale. Over the past one year, Cerner has outperformed the broader industry with respect to price. However, downward estimate revision indicates looming concerns. We believe that the company has growth opportunities in the revenue cycle management (RCM), Population Health and ambulatory markets based on its product strength and enviable track record. However, the HCIT market is highly competitive, which exerts considerable pressure on both pricing and margins. Moreover, a growing proportion of low-margin services and technology resale may affect margins. Meanwhile, stringent hospital budgets exert pressure on pricing.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Cerner in a research note on Friday, February 10th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $65.00 price target on shares of Cerner and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, January 15th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $66.00 price target on shares of Cerner in a research note on Friday, February 10th. Leerink Swann downgraded shares of Cerner from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $65.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, December 1st. Finally, CIBC reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Cerner in a research note on Friday, February 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Cerner presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $62.15.

Analyst Recommendations for Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN)

Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) traded down 0.25% on Monday, hitting $56.47. The company had a trading volume of 827,315 shares. The stock has a market cap of $18.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.52 and a beta of 1.05. Cerner has a 12-month low of $47.01 and a 12-month high of $67.50. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $54.66 and its 200 day moving average price is $54.81.

Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 9th. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.61. Cerner had a net margin of 13.27% and a return on equity of 18.16%. The business had revenue of $1.26 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.61 earnings per share. Cerner’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Cerner will post $2.50 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Cerner news, Chairman Neal L. Patterson sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.91, for a total transaction of $1,098,200.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Jeffrey A. Townsend sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.31, for a total transaction of $5,231,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 13.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CERN. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its stake in Cerner by 10.4% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 6,379 shares of the company’s stock worth $373,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period. Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Cerner during the second quarter worth about $2,375,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new stake in Cerner during the second quarter worth about $1,499,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new stake in Cerner during the second quarter worth about $712,000. Finally, Eqis Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Cerner during the third quarter worth about $281,000. Institutional investors own 80.58% of the company’s stock.

About Cerner

Cerner Corporation (Cerner) is a supplier of healthcare information technology (HCIT). The Company offers a range of intelligent solutions and services that support the clinical, financial and operational needs of organizations of all sizes. The Company’s segments include Domestic and Global. The Domestic segment includes revenue contributions and expenditures associated with business activity in the United States.

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