HCA Healthcare (HCA) Lifted 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 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.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on HCA. ValuEngine raised HCA Healthcare from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 30th. Citigroup raised HCA Healthcare from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised HCA Healthcare from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, November 30th. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating on shares of HCA Healthcare in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $92.00 target price on shares of HCA Healthcare in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $88.70.

Shares of HCA Healthcare (NYSE HCA) traded up $1.83 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $88.80. The stock had a trading volume of 1,830,426 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,909,435. HCA Healthcare has a 12-month low of $71.18 and a 12-month high of $91.03. The company has a market cap of $30,791.95, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.63, a P/E/G ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.55. 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 (NYSE:HCA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $1.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.21. HCA Healthcare had a negative return on equity of 47.16% and a net margin of 6.13%. The firm had revenue of $10.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.70 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.45 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that HCA Healthcare will post 6.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Michael S. Cuffe sold 2,150 shares of HCA Healthcare stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.00, for a total value of $167,700.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 12,476 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $973,128. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Victor L. Campbell sold 8,000 shares of HCA Healthcare stock in a transaction dated 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 22,700 shares of company stock worth $1,773,872 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in HCA Healthcare by 0.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 19,718,250 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,719,431,000 after acquiring an additional 141,258 shares during the last quarter. Glenview Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 2.6% during the second quarter. Glenview Capital Management LLC now owns 14,899,289 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,299,218,000 after buying an additional 384,024 shares during the period. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD boosted its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 22.6% during the third quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 11,135,155 shares of the company’s stock valued at $886,247,000 after buying an additional 2,053,701 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management boosted its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 5.5% during the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,907,939 shares of the company’s stock valued at $340,772,000 after buying an additional 203,290 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 141.4% during the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,423,381 shares of the company’s stock valued at $272,467,000 after buying an additional 2,005,193 shares during the period. 75.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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