Corrections Corp. of America has been sued by the family of a security guard who was killed last year during an inmate riot at the company's Natchez, Miss., facility. Relatives of Catlin Carithers say CCA's policies endangered guards by "depriving inmates of basic needs and treating them inhumanely." The company says it has worked with law enforcement officials investigating the riot and supports the prosecution of those deemed responsible.
Analyst Steve Chercover at D.A. Davidson has hiked his rating on shares of Louisiana-Pacific to 'neutral' from 'underperform' and lifted his price target to $19 from $18. The move comes after LP reported its Q1 numbers and as its shares (Ticker: LPX) have been recovering from their April swoon. At about 11 a.m. Wednesday, they were up another 3 percent to about $19.50.
Separately, Ed Sustar at Moody's Investors Service has tipped his cap to the balance sheet management of LP CEO Curt Stevens and his team. Sustar has lifted his liquidity rating for LP by a notch, citing the company's strong cash position. The company has in the past year built up its cash holdings to $561 million from $340 million at the end of 2011.
Denise Chai at Bank of America Merrill Lynch has upgraded shares of Dollar General to 'buy' and lifted her price target to $60, about 15 percent above where the discount retail giant (Ticker: DG) is changing hands today. A big catalyst: The company's recent refinancing will boost its bottom line right away.
Over at Avondale Partners, Kevin Campbell has updated his numbers on Acadia Healthcare after the company's beat-and-raise Q1. Campbell's EPS 2013 forecast now stands at $1.01 from 93 cents and his 2014 estimate is $1.25 versus $1.10. As a result, he also has lifted his price target for Acadia (Ticker: ACHC) to $35 from $33.
Cowen & Co. analysts have lowered their rating on shares of Delek US Holdings to 'hold' from 'buy.' The move comes after Delek is rallying back toward its all-time highs around $40. (Cowen's target is $42.) The stock (Ticker: DK) is up 50 percent year to date.
Over at BMO Capital Markets, Richard Anderson is making a similar move regarding Healthcare Realty Trust shares. He now rates the Nashville-based medical REIT (Ticker: HR) at 'market perform' instead of 'outperform.' His $29 price target is unchanged and is now about 4 percent below where Healthcare Realty is changing hands.
Analyst Kevin Campbell at Avondale Partners has run through the details of California Gov. Jerry Brown's new (court-mandated) plan to reduce overcrowding in the state's prisons and sees a mixed bag for Corrections Corp. of America. On the one hand, Campbell says competitor GEO Group looks better positioned to benefit from Brown's plan to use more private prison beds in the state because it has more capacity there. But on the other hand, Brown's plan also calls for a slower return of California inmates now being housed by CCA in other states. Rather than cut the out-of-state tally from more than 8,000 to about 2,700 by mid-2014 as previously envisioned, Brown now plans to trim that number to about 4,100.
At first glance Friday, investors appeared to be OK with Brown's plan, pushing CCA shares (Ticker: CXW) up 1.7 percent to $37.07.