Benefitfocus Inc (NASDAQ:BNFT) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Benefitfocus Inc (NASDAQ:BNFT) was the target of a large increase in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,540,000 shares, an increase of 8.6% from the December 15th total of 4,180,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 336,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 13.5 days. Approximately 15.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

BNFT stock traded up $0.50 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $21.28. The stock had a trading volume of 2,533 shares, compared to its average volume of 265,861. The firm has a market cap of $631.88 million, a PE ratio of -14.24 and a beta of 1.30. Benefitfocus has a 12-month low of $18.99 and a 12-month high of $60.66. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $21.29 and its 200 day moving average price is $23.92.

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The software maker reported ($0.23) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.49) by $0.26. The company had revenue of $71.67 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $70.90 million. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned ($0.23) EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Benefitfocus will post -1.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc acquired a new position in shares of Benefitfocus during the 2nd quarter valued at $41,000. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in Benefitfocus by 153.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 4,049 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 2,453 shares during the period. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of Benefitfocus by 9.4% during the 2nd quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 4,650 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $126,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of Benefitfocus during the 3rd quarter worth $187,000. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY boosted its holdings in shares of Benefitfocus by 12.2% during the 3rd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 9,577 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $228,000 after buying an additional 1,042 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 97.29% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on BNFT. Wells Fargo & Co dropped their price objective on shares of Benefitfocus from $42.00 to $40.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 8th. Compass Point began coverage on shares of Benefitfocus in a research note on Monday, November 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $37.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Benefitfocus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 12th. ValuEngine raised shares of Benefitfocus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Benefitfocus from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $39.55.

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.

Further Reading: Growth Stocks

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