HealthSouth Sees Unusually High Options Volume (HLS)

HealthSouth Corp (NYSE:HLS) saw some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders acquired 688 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 942% compared to the average volume of 66 put options.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on HLS shares. Mizuho upgraded HealthSouth from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded HealthSouth from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of HealthSouth in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price objective on shares of HealthSouth in a research report on Sunday, September 17th. Finally, William Blair restated an “outperform” rating on shares of HealthSouth in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. HealthSouth currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.44.

HealthSouth (HLS) opened at $49.41 on Monday. HealthSouth has a 52-week low of $38.24 and a 52-week high of $50.41. The company has a market capitalization of $4,870.00, a PE ratio of 18.03, a PEG ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.89, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 1.34.

HealthSouth (NYSE:HLS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. HealthSouth had a return on equity of 22.81% and a net margin of 6.69%. The business had revenue of $995.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $985.75 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.65 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that HealthSouth will post 2.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 2nd will be given a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 29th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.02%. HealthSouth’s payout ratio is 36.50%.

In related news, Director Yvonne M. Curl bought 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were bought at an average cost of $45.95 per share, for a total transaction of $45,950.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 64,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,947,416.80. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of HealthSouth by 64.7% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of HealthSouth by 33.8% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,092 shares of the company’s stock worth $149,000 after purchasing an additional 781 shares during the last quarter. Petrus Trust Company LTA bought a new stake in shares of HealthSouth in the second quarter worth about $210,000. Foster & Motley Inc. bought a new stake in shares of HealthSouth in the third quarter worth about $213,000. Finally, Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of HealthSouth by 99.3% in the third quarter. Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,727 shares of the company’s stock worth $219,000 after purchasing an additional 2,355 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.18% of the company’s stock.

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About HealthSouth

HealthSouth Corporation (HealthSouth) is a provider of post-acute healthcare services, offering both facility-based and home-based post-acute services in 35 states and Puerto Rico through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies and hospice agencies. The Company manages its operations through segments, including inpatient rehabilitation, and home health and hospice.

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