NHI posts solid Q4

Rising revenues and a jump in investment income helped real estate investment trust National Health Investors post a fourth-quarter profit increase of 22 percent from late 2008. Normal funds from operations rose almost 8 percent during the quarter. NHI shares (Ticker: NHI) are up about 7 percent in the past six months.
Feb 22, 2010 10:07 AM

Dell's disappointing margins

Following the computer manufacturer's fourth-quarter earnings release, a number of analysts were asking if its strategy of maintaining prices and accepting market-share losses might be eroding its core earnings power.
"What people are trying to figure out with Dell is the balance between revenue and profit," said Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross. "They continue to cut costs, but people were expecting a bit more leverage. The question becomes how much profit can they get out of their revenue stream."
Feb 19, 2010 8:50 AM

CHS Q4 call quite familiar

Community Health Systems’ discussion of acquisition opportunities for the coming year on its fourth-quarter conference call today sparked some déjà vu. Much like the Q3 call, CEO Wayne Smith  discussed the company’s plans to acquire two hospitals this year, mentioning favorable deal pricing in the 50 to 60 percent of net revenue range — as opposed to the 80 percent or more that was typical in years past. He also reiterated that the company doesn’t need to do acquisitions to perform well, but that it will continue to buy facilities because it’s “helpful in terms of consistent growth.” In the discussion of its acquisition of Rockwood Clinic in Spokane, Wash., one analyst asked the company to discuss physician employment opportunities (a strategy HCA talked about on its Q4 call an hour earlier). Smith said the company employs about 10 percent of its physicians and has seen an increase in interest from physicians primarily around “the economy and lifestyle issues.” But buying Rockwood and its more than 30 physician locations was more about creating an integrated care network in a market where it already owns hospitals, he said. “By the way, historically buying physician practices has not been a good idea,” Smith said, adding that you have to think “long and hard” about how it will work for you strategically. Community Health's stock (Ticker: CYH) was up more than 2.5 percent after midday.
Feb 18, 2010 1:00 PM

Healthways outlook good, but stock set for a down day

On its year-end earnings call yesterday, Healthways’ management was optimistic about its prospects for 2010 and beyond, noting growing interest in and understanding of the scope and integration of its wellness services. Helped by strict cost control efforts, the company posted fourth-quarter and full-year numbers Tuesday in line with analyst expectations. Jefferies analyst Art Henderson said given the uncertain economy and contract losses in the past year, Healthways has done well and should continue to do so barring any unforeseen economic slide. “I think their guidance is conservative and their valuation is conservative, which points to better performance,” Henderson said. Healthways issued its 2010 earnings per share guidance at $1.05 to $1.18. Still, shares (Ticker: HWAY) are poised for a down day, with the stock trading off after hours Tuesday.
Feb 17, 2010 7:10 AM

Not health reform, health deform

No need for a hearing check. Iasis Healthcare CEO David White said on today's first-quarter earnings call: "You didn't hear health reform, you heard health deform, because I think that better describes what's taking place." Asked by analyst Sheryl Skolnick (who's back at CRT Capital Group) about the company's outlook for health reform, White said he thinks it will continue to be a "disjointed, herky jerky process." He's concerned hospitals will still be asked to take the $155 billion in cuts they agreed to in a deal with Washington but they won't get the quid pro quo promised by politicians. Also a concern: That a permanent fix to the physician payment problem will be left out of any legislation. "That's a very long-term and near-term issue for hospitals — having its doctors be able to continue to take Medicare patients," White said.
Feb 11, 2010 11:31 AM

Analysts get bullish on Gaylord

JPMorgan analyst Kevin Milota has raised his rating on shares Gaylord Entertainment to 'overweight' following the Nashville company's Q4 report yesterday. Milota, who cited an improving economy as the main reason, also lifted his price target to $24 from $20. David Katz at Oppenheimer, who already rated Gaylord at 'outperform,' sees even more upside for Gaylord shares. He has pushed his target to $28 from $26. Gaylord (Ticker: GET) has risen 8 percent in the past six months.
Feb 10, 2010 8:26 AM

And if the earnings don't do the trick

A ratings upgrade from A.M. Best will. First Acceptance shares (Ticker: FAC) had been up a bit on the heels of its fiscal second-quarter results. A.M. Best's news sent them up more than 10 percent.
Feb 10, 2010 8:06 AM

Nissan back in black

Nissan posted a fiscal-third-quarter operating profit of $1.5 billion as various stimulus plans helped get the auto sector back on the right track. The result easily topped analysts' expectations and lifted full-year profits into positive territory. The auto maker's New York-listed shares (Ticker: NSANY) are up about 7 percent.
Feb 9, 2010 12:12 PM

Four in a row for Reliant

Brentwood-based Reliant Bank posted a fourth-quarter profit of about $300,000, its fourth straight quarter in the black. For the year, the bank — which last summer bought a Maryland Farms branch from Magna Bank — earned $2.3 million.
Feb 8, 2010 7:53 AM

Hickory Hollow owner slashes its value by 88%

In reporting its fourth-quarter results, CBL & Associates — which owns the CoolSprings Galleria, RiverGate Mall and Hickory Hollow Mall — says the last of those three will generate a lot less cash going forward, which requires an adjustment of its book value. The 1.1 million-square-foot center's new "appropriate" value for Chattanooga-based CBL: $12.6 million, down from more than $107 million. The small piece of good news:
Currently Hickory Hollow Mall generates insufficient NOI to cover debt service on its $33.4 million recourse loan. CBL plans to continue to service the loan, which is self-liquidating, over the remaining eight year term.
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Feb 4, 2010 8:03 AM