Universal Health Services (UHS) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $135.00 price objective on the health services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 12.47% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Universal Health has witnessed consistent growth in its revenue base on the back of solid Acute Care and Behavioral Health platforms. Over the years, acquisitions have also played a key role in building Universal Health’s growth trajectory. Although the shares have slightly underperformed the industry in a year’s time, its strong fundamentals are likely to favor the stock going forward. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.5% upward over the last 60 days. The company is, however, 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.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $137.00 price objective for the company. Citigroup upgraded shares of Universal Health Services from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 price objective on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “buy” rating and set a $117.00 price objective on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 price objective on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Friday, October 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $131.20.

Shares of Universal Health Services (UHS) traded down $2.50 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $120.03. 667,171 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 893,970. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.26. Universal Health Services has a twelve month low of $95.26 and a twelve month high of $129.74. The firm has a market cap of $11,414.71, a PE ratio of 16.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 0.97.

Universal Health Services declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, November 15th that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the health services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH acquired a new position in shares of Universal Health Services in the 4th quarter valued at $487,000. Eqis Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Universal Health Services in the 4th quarter valued at $386,000. APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 3.4% in the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 75,147 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $7,094,000 after purchasing an additional 2,462 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its position in Universal Health Services by 140.8% during the fourth quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 17,031 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $1,930,000 after acquiring an additional 9,958 shares during the period. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Universal Health Services during the fourth quarter worth $127,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.11% of the company’s stock.

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Universal Health Services Company Profile

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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