Corrections Corp. of America Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer Anthony Grande this week popped back onto our radar that scans for local insider trades. Grande's stock trading plan on Monday exercised 15,000 stock options that would have expired starting in 2018 and sold the resulting shares. His profit on the transactions topped $275,000 and came about two months after he booked a $155,000 gain in similar circumstances.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has granted the request from Corrections Corp. of America to block a shareholder's resolution calling for the company to lower the rates it charges for phone calls between inmates and their families. The Human Rights Defense Center in December asked for CCA investors to ask the company to make changes, including accepting commissions from phone operators. Steven Hale has the update at Pith.
The board of directors of Corrections Corp. of America has voted to increase the company's quarterly dividend to 51 cents per share from 48 cents. The move, which will apply to shareholders on April 2, will take the prison management company's yield above 6 percent. Shares of CCA (Ticker: CXW) are down about 7 percent in the past three months.
Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel has cut his rating on shares of Tractor Supply to 'perform' from 'outperform' and lowered his price target to $70 from $80, leaving about 7 percent of upside. Nagel says the farm and ranch retailer (Ticker: TSCO) remains one of the best operators in the business but adds that "increasingly discerning retail stock investors" are likely to look elsewhere for a while because of the limited EPS growth prospects this year.
Brooks O'Neil at Dougherty & Co. on Friday morning lowered his recommendation of Healthways shares to 'neutral' from 'buy.' The move came after the company posted a $5 million net loss for the fourth quarter. Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) gave up a lot of ground early Friday but recovered quickly on heavy volume to close up 0.7 percent at $14.
Shares of Corrections Corp. of America got a boost Friday from CRT Capital, which upgraded the prison management company to 'buy' from 'fairly valued' just a few weeks after launching coverage. The firm now sees CCA shares (Ticker: CXW) climbing to $36 in the coming quarters, up from $35. On Friday, they moved to $32.55 from $31.50.
Shares of Corrections Corp. of America (Ticker: CXW) are down about 10 percent over the past three months, and this week's Q4 report didn't reverse the trend. But Avondale Partners analyst Kevin Campbell says there are some positives in the company's pipeline. For example, CCA has a good shot at winning contracts in both West Virginia and Oklahoma in the coming months, and its balance sheet is healthy enough to sustain a higher dividend, Campbell says. Still, he won't yet go as far as to lift his 'market perform' rating and has actually trimmed his price target to $35 from $36, which leaves about 11 percent of upside from Thursday's close.
Corrections Corp. of America officials are pushing back against an audit of their Idaho operations by KPMG that purportedly showed the company had understaffed a 2,100-bed prison by 26,000 hours. The Nashville-based company, which has hired an attorney to push KPMG to agree that its report was inconclusive, will turn over the operation of the Idaho Correctional Center in June and has agreed to pay $1 million as part of a settlement with state officials.
The report could impact the Tennessee-based company's other government relationships. Idaho corrections officials say prison leaders in several states and the U.S. Department of Justice have asked for copies of the audit. CCA is one of the largest private prison companies in the world, reporting $1.7 billion in revenue in 2012.