HCA Healthcare Inc (NYSE:HCA) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

HCA Healthcare Inc (NYSE:HCA) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 3,780,000 shares, an increase of 6.5% from the November 14th total of 3,550,000 shares. Approximately 1.4% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,460,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.6 days.

Shares of HCA Healthcare stock traded down $0.72 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $142.86. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 820,958 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,455,130. HCA Healthcare has a one year low of $110.31 and a one year high of $146.96. The company has a market capitalization of $48.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.62, a P/E/G ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 0.91. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $137.20 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $129.98.

HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $2.23 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.13 by $0.10. HCA Healthcare had a net margin of 6.98% and a negative return on equity of 173.49%. The firm had revenue of $12.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.48 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $2.16 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that HCA Healthcare will post 10.53 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 27th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 2nd will be paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 29th. HCA Healthcare’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 16.38%.

A number of research firms have commented on HCA. ValuEngine upgraded shares of HCA Healthcare from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Barclays raised their price target on shares of HCA Healthcare from $145.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 30th. Finally, Bank of America upgraded shares of HCA Healthcare from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $155.69.

In other HCA Healthcare news, SVP Deborah M. Reiner sold 749 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.67, for a total value of $102,365.83. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,237 shares in the company, valued at $1,125,750.79. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Jon M. Foster sold 19,477 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.35, for a total transaction of $2,577,780.95. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 10,015 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,325,485.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 42,620 shares of company stock valued at $5,725,883. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HCA. Penserra Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of HCA Healthcare in the third quarter valued at $26,000. Doyle Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of HCA Healthcare during the second quarter valued at about $34,000. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of HCA Healthcare during the third quarter valued at about $39,000. North Star Investment Management Corp. bought a new position in shares of HCA Healthcare during the third quarter valued at about $42,000. Finally, Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of HCA Healthcare during the third quarter valued at about $42,000. 69.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides health care services. The company operates general, acute care hospitals that offer medical and surgical services, including inpatient care, intensive care, cardiac care, diagnostic, and emergency services; and outpatient services, such as outpatient surgery, laboratory, radiology, respiratory therapy, cardiology, and physical therapy services.

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