Cantor Fitzgerald hospital analyst Joe France has become the latest follower of HCA Holdings to give a big lift to his price target. France on Tuesday told clients he sees shares of the Nashville-based hospital giant climbing to $45, up from his previous target of $35. HCA shares (Ticker: HCA) closed Tuesday's trading at $37.50.
Analysts at Barclays Capital have launched coverage of various health care providers and real estate investment trusts with mostly equalweight ratings. Among the companies they suggest investors accumulate is nursing home operator Brookdale Senior Living. They see shares of the company climbing to $31 from their current levels of around $27 (Ticker: BKD).
Todd Stender said this week that shares of National Health Investors have gotten ahead of the market a bit after a 15 percent run in the past three months. The Wells Fargo Securities analyst has downgraded the stock (Ticker: NHI) to 'market perform' from 'outperform.'
Stender's move came shortly after NHI filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a note updating investors on the status of its legal battle with a nonprofit that owns seven nursing homes. ElderTrust of Florida, NHI execs wrote, has apparently stopped making principal payments on its mortgage with the Murfreesboro company. Attorneys have filed papers to put ElderTrust into default status.
Analysts at Sidoti have begun covering shares of Brookdale Senior Living with a 'buy' rating and price target of $32. That leaves almost 20 percent of upside for Brentwood-based Brookdale (Ticker: BKD), which is up more than 60 percent in the past six months.
JPMorgan Chase's Michael Mueller is a little more optimistic about Healthcare Realty Trust, along with a number of other REITs. He has upgraded Nashville-based Healthcare Realty to 'overweight' from 'neutral.' His price target for the stock (Ticker: HR), which closed Tuesday at $24.98, is $27 versus his previous $26.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Kevin Fischbeck had positive things to say late last week about two of Nashville's biggest health care providers. First, he lifted his price target for shares of Community Health Systems a whopping 10 bucks to $45, saying investors are starting to get a better handle on the upside of health care reform and have become more comfortable with the risks of government investigations into CHS admissions practices. Then Fischbeck said senior housing names such as Brookdale Senior Living are among the companies poised to benefit most from an improving economy that will bring them more pricing power. CHS (Ticker: CYH) is up more than 10 percent year to date and has climbed about 20 percent in the past six months, while Brookdale (Ticker: BKD) is up more than 50 percent since July but hasn't moved much in the past few weeks.