Avondale Partners Managing Director Kevin Campbell has lifted his price target for two of the local companies he follows. He now sees HCA Holdings (Ticker: HCA) climbing to $46 instead of $38, which amounts to eight times his pre-tax earnings forecast. But he says his outlook for better volumes is offset by cuts to several types of reimbursements and the looming threat of sequestration, while the "2014 headwinds are real." (Dave Shove at BMO said the same earlier this week.)
[W]e are lowering 13E and 14E EPS to $3.02 (was $3.16) and $3.18 (was $3.54), respectively. Although our estimates are below consensus (particularly in 2014), we believe shares should be supported over the long term by a multi-year tailwind of improving patient mix from reform.
Campbell also has raised his price target for shares of Corrections Corp. of America following the prison operator's news that it's going ahead with its conversion to a real estate investment trust. He sees little chance of the company (Ticker: CXW) missing its profit forecast this year and expects a boost to its shares if/when it is added to two prominent REIT stock indices. His new target is $43, up from $39, which leaves about 14 percent of upside.