Health Insurance Innovations Inc Shares Face the Heat; Cantor Finds Weakness Unfounded

Analyst dismisses negative publicity haunting HIIQ as unjustified extrapolation from past settlements.

Health Insurance Innovations Inc (NASDAQ:HIIQ) shares are crashing 17% in pre-market trading today after Moxreports released an article that certainly does not portray the company’s valuation in the best light, amid marketing practice investigations, licensure queries, and fingers pointed at insider selling. With an ongoing 42-state investigation into the company’s operating practices and Moxreports crying out a “tidal wave of fraud investigations, lawsuits and cease and desist orders” circling the stock, investors are promptly fleeing the scene of these alleged crimes.

Cantor analyst Steven Halper approaches the news with a sigh that “shares [are] under pressure again,” but not from one who joins in the bearish stampede. In fact, “We believe the weakness in HIIQ shares today is mostly unfounded,” argues Halper, who takes criticism with Moxreports for publishing an article that merely “attempts to extrapolate from past settlements” and points to concerns of a case that was “previously disclosed.”

Dismantling these claims picking apart prospective $100 million in penalties for the company as “unfounded,” the analyst continues to stay in HIIQ’s corner, reiterating an Overweight rating on the stock with a price target of $38, which implies a 96% increase from current levels. (To watch Halper’s track record, click here)

Halper picks apart the other chief concern, highlighting, “The other issue relates to the company’s license as a third-party administrator (TPA) in Florida,” continuing, “The company had previously disclosed in its filings that its license application (as third-party administrator, which might not be necessary) in FL was denied. A hearing is scheduled for October, and discussions with the State are ongoing.”

True, “We agree that the letter from the OIR does not read well and highlights several shortcomings by the company during the licensing process,” acknowledges Halper, who concludes: “Finally, the article indicates that insiders have been selling stock despite these issues. We note that the company’s CFO, Michael Hershberger has a pre-arranged 10b5-1 plan in place to sell shares which mostly removes any discretion from the timing of sales.” However, in the grander scheme, none of Moxreports’ claims are enough to budge the analyst away from the bulls.

Most of Wall Street is choosing to stay in this company’s corner right there along with Halper, considering TipRanks analytics demonstrate HIIQ as a Strong Buy. Out of 5 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 4 are bullish on HIIQ stock while 1 remains sidelined. With a return potential of 47%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $34.40.

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