-$0.18 EPS Expected for Benefitfocus (BNFT) This Quarter

Wall Street analysts forecast that Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) will report earnings per share of ($0.18) for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have issued estimates for Benefitfocus’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at ($0.12) and the lowest estimate coming in at ($0.30). Benefitfocus posted earnings per share of ($0.05) in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year over year growth rate of 260%. The firm is expected to report its next earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd.

On average, analysts expect that Benefitfocus will report full year earnings of ($0.66) per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from ($0.74) to ($0.57). For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the company will post earnings of ($0.23) per share, with EPS estimates ranging from ($0.38) to $0.16. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Benefitfocus.

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Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd. The software maker reported ($0.26) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.39) by $0.13. The company had revenue of $62.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $58.53 million. The firm’s revenue was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned ($0.36) earnings per share.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on BNFT. Wells Fargo reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price target (down from $35.00) on shares of Benefitfocus in a report on Thursday, March 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BidaskClub upgraded Benefitfocus from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, April 14th. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded Benefitfocus from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday. ValuEngine upgraded Benefitfocus from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, April 27th. Finally, Berenberg Bank set a $29.00 target price on Benefitfocus and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $32.67.

In related news, Director A Lanham Napier purchased 3,985 shares of Benefitfocus stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were bought at an average price of $25.16 per share, with a total value of $100,262.60. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 25,497 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $641,504.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 29.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of BNFT. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Benefitfocus by 10.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 77,239 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $2,599,000 after purchasing an additional 7,194 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Benefitfocus by 10.6% in the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 75,845 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $2,553,000 after purchasing an additional 7,247 shares in the last quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC raised its position in Benefitfocus by 37.0% in the 4th quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 1,752,918 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $47,329,000 after purchasing an additional 473,522 shares in the last quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC raised its position in Benefitfocus by 0.6% in the 4th quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 644,503 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $17,402,000 after purchasing an additional 4,033 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC acquired a new stake in Benefitfocus in the 4th quarter valued at about $239,000. 84.75% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ BNFT traded up $4.35 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $34.75. 1,025,922 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 202,733. The stock has a market cap of $952.71, a PE ratio of -43.99 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.23. Benefitfocus has a 52-week low of $21.75 and a 52-week high of $37.10.

About Benefitfocus

Benefitfocus, Inc provides cloud-based benefits management platform for consumers, employers, insurance carriers, and brokers in the United States. It operates through Employer and Carrier segments. The company's products for insurance carriers include Marketplaces, which are online shopping environments; eEnrollment that provides online enrollment for benefits; eBilling, an electronic invoice presentment and payment solution; eExchange, a solution for communication; eSales for carriers and brokers to organize and manage accounts, track leads, generate quotes, and create proposals for products; and Core & Advanced Analytics, a data analytics solution.

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