Chris Rigg at Susquehanna Financial dinged shares of LifePoint Hospitals and Vanguard Health Systems Wednesday morning, downgrading them both to 'neutral' from positive.' But the call's effect was short lived: Vanguard (Ticker: VHS) initially was down some 8 percent but has clawed its way back. LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) opened down more than 2 percent and is only slightly in the red heading toward the last hour of trading.
Wedbush analyst Joan Storms says home goods retailer Kirkland's can grow its numbers if it can avoid merchandise misses and if the broader economy cooperates. She has launched coverage of the company's shares (Ticker: KIRK) with a 'neutral' rating and a $12 price target. The stock is down almost 20 percent this year.
The analyst gathering Dollar General hosted Tuesday has ratcheted up the optimism of at least two researchers following the booming discount retailer. Charles Grom at Deutsche and Joan Storms at Wedbush have hiked their price target for Dollar General to $61 and $60, respectively. Grom sees a number of positive dynamics enabling the company to grow earnings at a heady clip. Shares of Dollar General (Ticker: DG) closed Wednesday trading at $54.02.
A number of analysts covering Tractor Supply have raised their price targets for the specialty retailer's shares, which already are up more than 40 percent this year. Joan Storms at Wedbush Securities sees the stock climbing to $112 on the back of the powerful combination of strong execution and continued growth potential. And Brent Rystrom at Feltl now rates Tractor Supply a 'buy' and has lifted his target to $105 from $91.
Two researchers following Corrections Corp. of America have recently gone in different directions on the prison operator. At Barclays Capital, Manav Patnaik has lifted his price target to $33 from $30 and reiterated his 'overweight' rating. But over at First Analysis, Todd Van Fleet sees the steady 2012 climb of CCA stock (Ticker: CXW) as a reason to lighten up. He has lowered the stock to 'equalweight' from 'overweight.'
BioMimetic Therapeutics' Augment Bone Graft product received an approval recommendation from a Food and Drug Administration panel last week during a hearing one analyst called 'contentious' — the reason analyst Greg Wade thinks BioMimetic's shares traded down on heavy volume Friday. Wade told BusinessWeek:
"Based upon how negative the FDA was on so many points going into the meeting, we actually see the close vote as a strong rebuke of the FDA's position."