Middle Tennessee's publicly traded hospital companies got a boost Tuesday from analysts at JPMorgan Chase, who began covering them and others in the industry with mostly positive ratings and price targets that leave a lot of upside. The researchers rate HCA Holdings, Community Health Systems and LifePoint Hospitals at 'overweight' and Vanguard Health Systems at 'neutral.' The last of those companies, they said, will not be able to take advantage as much of the benefits of health care reform, while CHS will see its EBITDA grow almost 10 percent because of reform and LifePoint will benefit most.
In terms of price targets and investors' reaction today, here's a rundown:
• HCA: $39 target, changing hands late in the session at $31.67, up 1.5 percent
• CHS: $38 target, trading at about $31.40, up more than 3 percent
• LifePoint: $46 target, trading at $38.50, up more than 4 percent
• Vanguard: $13 target, up almost 3 percent to $11.80.
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