Analyst action: Healthways, LifePoint

Analyst Ryan Daniels at William Blair has raised his rating on shares of wellness services provider Healthways to 'outperform' from 'market perform.' The move, which makes Daniels the fourth analyst to recommend investors buy the Franklin-based company, has given Healthways a nice boost in Monday trading. At about 2:20 p.m., the shares (Ticker: HWAY) were up almost 3 percent to $11.75. If they stay there today, it'll be their highest close since late September.

Avondale Partners' Kevin Campbell says investors should continue to buy shares of LifePoint Hospitals and has raised his price target on the company to $54 from $50. He sees LifePoint benefiting both from the big picture — the continued M&A activity in the sector and the rollout of insurance exchanges — as well as company-specific dynamics, including higher incentive payments related to the adoption of technology and up to $10 million in cost savings from outsourcing a bunch of back-office functions to HCA's Parallon division. Campbell's advice didn't immediately help investors, though: Heading into the final half hour of regular trading, LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) was off almost 2 percent to about $43.10.