NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Humana Inc. (HUM) are gaining by 17.83% to $210.22 on heavy volume in mid-afternoon trading on Friday, following reports that the company is looking into selling itself and has hired Goldman Sachs (GS) to help with the process, The Wall Street Journal reports.
So far today, 4.08 million shares of Humana have exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.34 million shares.
Were Humana to be acquired, it could result in a trend among health insurers to consolidate, The Journal noted, adding that there is the possibility that there will be no deal reached.
"While impossible to predict timing, there is a consistent theme of consolidation being openly discussed by a number of management teams in the sector," J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in a recent research note, the Journal said.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates HUMANA INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate HUMANA INC (HUM) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, 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, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and reasonable valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."