HCA execs talk labor issues

7,500 nurses in orientation programs; board declares $3B buyback
Oct 27, 2015 2:46 PM

Two more analysts now see little CHS upside

Two more analysts tracking Community Health Systems have formally reacted to the company's profit warning last week. Most notably, Ana Gupte at Leerink Partners has slashed her price target for the hospital owner to $33, less than half the $75 she had expected CHS to reach in the coming year. She now rates CHS at 'market perform' instead of 'outperform' and says, among other things, that there is little sign medical cost trends will reverse themselves soon.

Over at Robert W. Baird, veteran analyst Whit Mayo has lowered his CHS rating from 'outperform' to 'neutral.' Mayo's new target for the Franklin-based company is $32, which is 15 percent above where the stock (Ticker: CYH) was changing hands in early Tuesday trading.

Oct 27, 2015 11:46 AM

VUMC asks Aramark to manage medical equipment

Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials have contracted with Aramark to have the Philadelphia-based company manage the life cycles of various biomedical, laboratory and diagnostic imaging equipment at its multi-facility Midtown campus as well as its network of more than 200 clinics around the region. Aramark is best known for its retail dining services but its health care business works with more than 1,100 organizations around North America.

Oct 27, 2015 10:23 AM

Delta Dental names new CFO

Former publishing CFO, CCA controller to help lead dental benefits group
Oct 27, 2015 7:08 AM

Analysts launch Surgery Partners coverage

Just about a month has passed since Green Hills-based Surgery Partners went public on the Nasdaq, which means it's time for members of the equity research community to go public with their recommendations. Not surprisingly, a majority of the nine banks that helped bring Surgery Partners to market are upbeat about the company's shares — even though they've gone next to nowhere (Ticker: SGRY) since the company's IPO. Seven firms launched coverage of the company Monday, and only Goldman Sachs analysts didn't put a 'buy' or 'strong buy' rating on the stock. Goldman's 'neutral' opinion comes with a $17.83 price target, which is well below the $25 Citi researchers expect the stock to reach in the coming year.

Oct 27, 2015 7:07 AM

After massive stock drop, CHS' Smith spends big to exercise options

Community Health Systems Chairman and CEO Wayne Smith is looking to send investors a message. Days after his team warned that third-quarter profits would be well below analysts' expectations — and the market lopped more than $1.5 billion off the company's market cap — Smith (pictured) on Monday spent more than $900,000 to exercise a batch of stock options that would have expired in 2019 and then held on to the resulting shares. The move took the 69-year-old's total direct and indirect holdings of Franklin-based CHS (Ticker: CYH) to nearly 1.8 million shares.

Smith's big option exercise came after his largest investor, hedge fund Glenview Capital, on Friday said it had trimmed its CHS stake by about 2 percent — for proceeds of nearly $8 million — the day before, when CHS plummeted by more than 30 percent. An interesting side note to that filing: Glenview on Thursday spent nearly $15 million to add to its holdings in Tenet Healthcare as that company, too, gave up a lot of ground.

Oct 27, 2015 6:56 AM

TMA releases legislative priorities

Stabilizing insurance reimbursements, physician-led care among top issues
Oct 26, 2015 2:12 PM

Analyst action: Pinnacle, LifePoint

Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Jefferson Harralson has tweaked his price target for shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners following the downtown bank's recent third-quarter results. Harralson, who rates Pinnacle a 'buy,' now sees Pinnacle climbing to $58, up from $54. That still leaves little upside, however, for Pinnacle (Ticker: PNFP), which closed Friday trading at $54 and change.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs have removed LifePoint Health from their 'conviction buy' list following the recent profit warnings from HCA Holdings and Community Health Systems. The Goldman team still rates Brentwood-based as a 'buy' and is sticking to its $87 price target. LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) ended last week at a little more than $64.

Oct 26, 2015 7:22 AM

VUMC partners with biopharma company for cancer research

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has partnered with Delaware-based Incyte Corp. to explore new cancer therapies.

Incyte Corp. is a Delaware-based biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology treatments. The alliance, terms of which were not disclosed, will allow scientists at VUMC and Incyte to share discoveries and work together on finding and testing new therapies.

"This partnership leverages the strengths of scientific discovery and translational biology here at Vanderbilt with a remarkable cancer therapeutics pipeline from Incyte," Dr. Michael Savona, director of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center Hematology Early Therapeutics Program, said in a release. "This collaboration will help us best determine the right therapies for the right patient. It is a fantastic opportunity."

The collaboration between VUMC and Incyte is for at least three years. Read more here.

Oct 26, 2015 7:05 AM

Time to take a breath on hospital stocks

Analysts say ACA benefits remain in place; 'Plenty of tailwind in the market'
Oct 26, 2015 7:04 AM