Another week, another post about a group of Georgia investors adding to its stake in nursing home chain Advocat. John McMullan individually and Covington Health as a group last Thursday and Friday snapped up Advocat shares (Ticker: AVCA) around $6 and adding to their 12 percent stake in the Brentwood-based company.
SEE ALSO: Our past reports on Covington's interest in Advocat
Kristin Gaines, the chief credit officer at National Health Investors, last week sold a fifth of her shares in the Murfreesboro-based medical properties REIT. Gaines, a 13-year company veteran who assumed her current post in March of last year, booked gross proceeds of $279,000 from the move. Her sale is the latest in a series of local insiders' moves to lighten their stock holdings.
Covington Health Care, the investment group that has been busily building a stake in Advocat, last week snapped up another 6,500 shares of the nursing home chain. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, Covington's members do now that President and CEO Will Council has announced he's leaving the company. Advocat shares (Ticker: AVCA) closed Friday trading at $6.51 and are up 25 percent this year.
UBS analyst Justin Lake has hiked his earnings estimates for Medicare insurer HealthSpring. But Lake, who has a 'buy' rating on the company, is sticking to his $52 price target, which still leaves the stock (Ticker: HS) about 40 percent of upside.
Morgan Keegan researcher Rob Mains says Brookdale Senior Living shares also can still climb more than 40 percent, but isn't in a hurry to jump in. In a note reiterating his 'outperform' rating, Mains says the stock (Ticker: BKD) may remain cheap "for a few months."
And over at Hilliard Lyons, analysts have launched coverage of Clarcor shares with a 'buy' rating and a $54 price target. That makes the firm the most optimistic on the Street about Clarcor (Ticker: CLC), which is changing hands at roughly $44 today.
The M&A attorneys for Vanguard Health Systems, Ardent Health Services, AmSurg, Community Health Systems and Brookdale Senior Living have been busy lately. Vanguard has completed its $210 million purchase of 51 percent of Texas hospital system Valley Baptist. Meanwhile, Ardent wrapped up its deal for two CHS hospitals in Oklahoma and AmSurg completed its acquisiton of Dallas-based National Surgical Care. Lastly, Brookdale put a bow on its acquisition of Horizon Bay Realty, whose assets are primarily in Texas and Florida. The last deal also involved negotiations for a Brookdale option to up to 20 percent of the U.S. portfolio of Chartwell Seniors Housing Real Estate Investment Trust.
W. Andrew Adams, the former chairman and CEO of National HealthCare Corp., has added 20,000 shares to his large holdings in the nursing home operator in the past few days. Adams, who stepped down from the chairman's seat in 2008 and controls more than 5 percent of the company, put to work more than $640,000. NHC shares (Ticker: NHC) are down 35 percent in the past month.
Analysts at Davenport & Co. have resumed their coverage of Healthcare Realty Trust with a 'buy' rating and a price target of $22. That target is some 35 percent above where Nashville-based Healthcare Realty (Ticker: HR) closed Monday and is right in line with the consensus.
In a Getahn Ward story digging a little deeper on the potential impact of recently announced Medicare reimbursement cuts on locally based operators of nursing homes, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jerry Doctrow says National Health Investors is one possible winner. The regulatory tweaks, Doctrow says, could create more sellers in the skilled nursing market and NHI has the financial muscle to step in. Investors seem to think so, too: NHI shares (Ticker: NHI) are down much less than those of Brookdale Senior Living and NHC in the past month.
Mark Montagna at Avondale Partners says Genesco's strategy is set to deliver nice top-line and earnings growth for the foreseeable future. In launching coverage of the Nashville-based company with a 'market outperform' rating, he writes that it is "the only footwear retailer without a direct competitor across 79% of its revenue base" and that fashion trends are cycling in the company's favor. Sales have run well ahead of plan and cost increases are being contained, leaving plenty of room for upside EPS surprises. Montagna has a $55 target for Genesco shares (Ticker: GCO), which have climbed 22 percent so far this year and closed Wednesday trading at $45.58.
At Stifel Nicolaus, Jerry Doctrow sees no value opportunity yet in Brookdale Senior Living. He has lowered his rating on the nursing home operator to 'hold' from 'buy' even though Brookdale shares, which have been hammered by news of planned Medicare reimbursement cuts, are down more than 30 percent (Ticker: BKD) in the past month.
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