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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released 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.”

HCA has been the subject of several other research reports. Robert W. Baird reissued a buy rating on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Raymond James Financial downgraded shares of HCA Healthcare from a strong-buy rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. They set an outperform rating and a $95.00 price target for the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $92.00 price target on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and nineteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $90.95.

HCA Healthcare (NYSE HCA) opened at $89.09 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $31,099.97, a P/E ratio of 12.67, a P/E/G ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.46, a current ratio of 1.68 and a quick ratio of 1.41. HCA Healthcare has a 52 week low of $71.18 and a 52 week high of $91.03.

HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $1.21 EPS for the quarter, meeting 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 net margin of 6.13% and a negative return on equity of 47.16%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.45 EPS. equities analysts expect that HCA Healthcare will post 6.56 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP Victor L. Campbell sold 8,000 shares of HCA Healthcare stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.82, for a total transaction of $606,560.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 127,275 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,649,990.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Michael S. Cuffe sold 2,150 shares of HCA Healthcare stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.00, for a total transaction of $167,700.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 12,476 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $973,128. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 22,700 shares of company stock valued at $1,773,872 in the last three months. 2.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HCA. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its holdings in HCA Healthcare by 14.0% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,163 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 143 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its holdings in HCA Healthcare by 35.1% in the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,232 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 320 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC acquired a new stake in HCA Healthcare in the second quarter worth $118,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in HCA Healthcare by 14.3% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. Finally, BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new stake in HCA Healthcare in the second quarter worth $141,000. 75.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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HCA Healthcare Company Profile

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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