HCA Healthcare (HCA) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, December 19th.

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.”

HCA has been the subject of a number of other reports. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Raymond James Financial downgraded HCA Healthcare from a “strong-buy” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on HCA Healthcare in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $95.00 price target for the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $92.00 target price on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. HCA Healthcare currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $87.80.

HCA Healthcare (HCA) traded up $2.01 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $86.97. 1,911,085 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,114,998. HCA Healthcare has a one year low of $71.18 and a one year 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. The stock has a market cap of $31,270.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.37, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.55.

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

In other news, SVP Victor L. Campbell sold 8,000 shares of the business’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 can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Michael S. Cuffe sold 2,150 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 17th. 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. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 22,700 shares of company stock valued at $1,773,872. 2.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of HCA. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of HCA Healthcare during the third quarter worth approximately $24,410,000. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 4.2% during the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,346,771 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,190,000 after purchasing an additional 54,653 shares in the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of HCA Healthcare during the third quarter worth approximately $646,000. Yellowstone Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of HCA Healthcare during the third quarter worth approximately $5,802,000. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 10.7% during the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,820,685 shares of the company’s stock worth $144,908,000 after purchasing an additional 176,494 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.34% of the company’s stock.

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About HCA Healthcare

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.

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