UBS Securities analyst A.J. Rice says HCA's second-quarter profits won't look great at first blush — comparisons with year-ago numbers will be tough for a number of reasons — but adds that he's heartened by executives' positive tone earlier this quarter. Rice has lifted his price target for the stock of Nashville's largest company (Ticker: HCA) to $67 from $58 and is optimistic hospital operators will say they're benefiting nicely from health insurance reform. HCA shares fell almost 2 percent Tuesday to $54.52 but are up about 15 percent year to date.
There are far fewer reasons to be optimistic for Louisiana-Pacific investors these days, judging by the moves of analysts at Dundee Securities and RBC Capital Markets. At the first firm, Steve Atkinson on Tuesday launched coverage of the construction materials manufacturer with a 'sell' rating and $13 price target, which is 14 percent below where LP shares (Ticker: LPX) began trading yesterday. Atkinson's main reason is a price war that will hurt margins and has him projecting a Q2 loss that stands in sharp contrast to the consensus. At RBC, Paul Quinn has cut his rating to 'sector perform' from 'outperform' and sees LP shares climbing back to only $16 in the coming quarters.