Will This Upgrade Help Wellcare (WCG) Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Leerink upgraded Wellcare  (WCG) to "outperform" from "market perform" and set a $74 target price. The firm cited valuation and noted the company has multiple potential catalysts. 

The stock was up 1.65% to $66.40 at 9:33 a.m. on Thursday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WELLCARE HEALTH PLANS INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WELLCARE HEALTH PLANS INC (WCG) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.40, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, WCG has a quick ratio of 2.08, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • WELLCARE HEALTH PLANS INC's earnings per share declined by 12.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WELLCARE HEALTH PLANS INC reported lower earnings of $3.98 versus $4.22 in the prior year. This year, the market expects earnings to be in line with last year ($3.98 versus $3.98).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WCG Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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