Universal Health Services (UHS) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Universal Health’s s shares have outperformed the industry year to date. Its inorganic growth impresses. Consistent growth in its revenue base on the back of solid Acute Care and Behavioral Health platforms also remains a positive. However, the company is  exposed to integration risks owing to several acquisitions. Further, its highly leveraged balance sheet is a major headwind. Based upon the operating trends and financial results during the first nine months of 2017, the company has lowered its 2017 earnings guidance for the second time, so far this year. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. KeyCorp reiterated a buy rating and set a $127.00 target price on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a buy rating and set a $147.00 target price on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Tuesday, August 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a buy rating and set a $117.00 target price on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a buy rating and set a $122.00 target price on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded shares of Universal Health Services from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Universal Health Services presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $127.08.

Universal Health Services (NYSE UHS) opened at $114.38 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $10,920.00, a P/E ratio of 15.73, a P/E/G ratio of 2.62 and a beta of 0.97. Universal Health Services has a 12-month low of $95.26 and a 12-month high of $129.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 1.26 and a quick ratio of 1.16.

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The health services provider reported $1.49 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.76 by ($0.27). The company had revenue of $2.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.60 billion. Universal Health Services had a net margin of 6.90% and a return on equity of 15.13%. Universal Health Services’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.60 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Universal Health Services will post 7.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.35%. Universal Health Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 5.50%.

Universal Health Services announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, November 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the health services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of UHS. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 18,950.9% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,260,197 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $275,926,000 after purchasing an additional 2,248,333 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 160.5% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,445,313 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $176,443,000 after purchasing an additional 890,490 shares in the last quarter. Orbimed Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Universal Health Services in the 3rd quarter worth $74,219,000. Jana Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 39.1% in the 3rd quarter. Jana Partners LLC now owns 1,891,986 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $209,897,000 after purchasing an additional 531,358 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Universal Health Services in the 2nd quarter worth $63,140,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.07% of the company’s stock.

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About Universal Health Services

Universal Health Services, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s principal business is owning and operating, through its subsidiaries, acute care hospitals and outpatient facilities, and behavioral healthcare facilities. The Company’s segments include Acute Care Hospital Services, Behavioral Health Services and Other.

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