HCA (HCA) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

HCA (NYSE:HCA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “HCA Healthcare’s shares have outperformed the industry year to date. Its top line has been growing over the past several quarters on strong volumes and improved payor and service mix. A number of acquisitions made over the past many years have helped the company gain a strong foothold in the industry. Nevertheless, the company continues to suffer from weak commercial business that has faced declining volumes of admissions over the last few quarters. High level of bad debts and disappointing international business are the also plaguing the company.”

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on HCA. BMO Capital Markets started coverage on HCA in a report on Monday, October 16th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $90.00 price target for the company. Robert W. Baird reduced their price target on HCA from $95.00 to $93.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd. ValuEngine cut HCA from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Citigroup raised HCA from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $90.00 price target (down previously from $95.00) on shares of HCA in a report on Thursday, October 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and nineteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. HCA currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $90.20.

HCA (HCA) traded up $1.23 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $89.69. The company had a trading volume of 2,573,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,303,938. The firm has a market cap of $31,319.49, a PE ratio of 13.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 0.56. HCA has a 12 month low of $71.18 and a 12 month high of $91.03. The company has a quick ratio of 1.41, a current ratio of 1.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.46.

HCA (NYSE:HCA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $1.21 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21. The company had revenue of $10.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.70 billion. HCA had a negative return on equity of 47.16% and a net margin of 6.13%. HCA’s quarterly revenue was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.45 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that HCA will post 6.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP Victor L. Campbell sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.82, for a total value of $606,560.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 127,275 shares in the company, valued at $9,649,990.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael S. Cuffe sold 2,150 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.00, for a total value of $167,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 12,476 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $973,128. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 20,300 shares of company stock valued at $1,565,960 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its stake in shares of HCA by 14.0% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,000 after acquiring an additional 143 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its stake in shares of HCA by 35.1% in the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,232 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 320 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC acquired a new stake in shares of HCA in the second quarter valued at $118,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of HCA by 14.3% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of HCA in the second quarter valued at $141,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.25% of the company’s stock.

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About HCA

HCA Healthcare, Inc, formerly HCA Holdings, Inc, is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates hospitals and related healthcare entities. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated in two geographically organized groups, including the National and American Groups. As of December 31, 2016, the National Group included 84 hospitals, which were located in Alaska, California, Florida, southern Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, northern Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

Analyst Recommendations for HCA (NYSE:HCA)

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