UPDATE: Deutsche Bank Reiterates on WellPoint on Better 3Q Upside, 2014 EPS Growth Caution
In a report published Thursday, Deutsche Bank analyst Greg Poole reiterated a Hold rating on WellPoint (NYSE: WLP), but lowered the price target from $92.00 to $90.00.
In the report, Deutsche Bank noted, “WLP delivers more upside in 3Q but is cautious on EPS growth in 2014. WLP delivered continued earnings upside in 3Q and raised 2013 EPS guidance by ~5% on a more favorable view of MLR. While the company has executed well in 2013, mgmt highlighted on the call that it could be challenging to achieve its 2014 EPS target of at least $8/share. We think WLP should be able to deliver EPS in excess of $8 next year although we are trimming our 2014-2015 EPS ests on a higher share count view. Note that 3Q13 represented the first period in 31 quarters that WLP's share count increased sequentially. Over the prior 30 quarters, WLP's diluted share count shrunk by 55%. Maintain Hold with strong execution in 2013 balanced by potential margin risks in 2014.”
WellPoint closed on Wednesday at $85.48.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.