The Georgia-based investment group that's been steadily buying up shares of nursing home chain Advocat for months, last week waded back into the stock for the first time in more than a month. Covington Health Group on Thursday bought 5,000 shares of Brentwood-based Advocat, lifting its stake in the company to 14.7 percent. Advocat shares (Ticker: AVCA) are flat over the past three months and up slightly from a year ago.
Brookdale Senior Living CEO Bill Sheriff last week sold shares worth more than $540,000 to cover the tax costs related to the vesting of restricted stock units in the nursing home operator. Sheriff's sale, undertaken as part of a previously arranged trading plan, still leaves him in direct or indirect control of about $14 million worth of Brookdale shares (Ticker: BKD), which have fallen more than 30 percent this year.
National HealthCare Corp. Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs David Lassiter last week cashed in almost a quarter of his shares in the nursing home operator, a move that let him pocket more than $500,000. Lassiter joined Murfreesboro-based NHC in 1995. Shares of the company (Ticker: NHC) are down slightly in 2011, but have climbed more than 40 percent from their early-August lows.
Despite all the 2011 noise related to their failed attempt to buy Tenet Healthcare and the resulting lawsuit that put their admissions practices in the spotlight, Community Health Systems executives last week told Barclays analyst Adam Feinstein they are both confident in their ability to pursue other deals and comfortable with their debt load and timetables. CHS shares (Ticker: CYH) are down 50 percent this year.
Feinstein also was in on Brookdale Senior Living's investor day last week and says the company is focused on expanding the services offered at many of its facilities. That longer-term view has potential: Feinstein has reiterated his 'equalweight' rating and $20 price target. Rob Mains at Morgan Keegan also has reiterated his 'outperform' rating and $21 target. Brookdale (Ticker: BKD) closed Monday trading at $14.39.
Wanna draw a line from Greece to big chunks of Nashville's health care scene? Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jerry Doctrow says "the spectacle playing out in Europe and a strong desire by members of Congress to avoid the 'do nothing' label in upcoming elections both create some real pressure to act." And that means there's a good chance of serious changes to Medicare and Medicaid criteria and/or reimbursements — despite the best efforts of the industry's lobbyists.