Now that's an upgrade...
Analyst Brian Tanquilut at Jefferies has hiked his rating on shares of Community Health Systems to 'buy' from 'hold.' That's nothing too unusual, but the price target hike accompanying it was: Tanquilut now sees CHS (Ticker: CYH) climbing to $56, up from just $29. Despite the strong run by hospital stocks in recent months, he says there's plenty more in store — in part because companies are saying they "expect to be able to charge the new health care exchanges rates for patient treatment closer to what commercial insurers pay than to the much-lower reimbursements Medicare and Medicaid pay."
Michael Rose at Raymond James has gone the other way with shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners, lowering his rating to 'market perform' from 'outperform.' Pinnacle (Ticker: PNFP) closed Monday trading at $23.22 and is up more than 23 percent in 2013.
Pinnacle Financial Partners has recruited financial consultant James Hundley to be a senior vice president for Pinnacle Asset Management at its Belle Meade office. Hundley comes to Pinnacle from Raymond James Financial Services, which is Pinnacle's partner in fee-based investment management. The University of Tennessee graduate has nine years of experience and also is a volunteer lacrosse coach at Ensworth Middle School.
Shares of Healthways are recovering this morning — up almost 3 percent on normal volume — from the hit they took Tuesday after Citigroup analyst James Naklicki said investors should sell them. Naklicki expects Healthways to earn 50 cents per share next year, well below the consensus of 72 cents. He says spending on the company's new contracts and lower rates on renegotiated deals will keep down profit growth. Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) closed at $10.48 Tuesday, down 3 percent on the day. Naklicki's target for the stock is $9.
Analysts at BGB Securities have launched coverage of Pinnacle Financial Partners with a 'buy' rating and a $21.50 price target. That makes the firm a outlier: Every other analyst following the largest bank headquartered in Nashville rates its shares (Ticker: PNFP) at 'hold.' BGB's price target provides for about 17 percent of upside from Tuesday's close of $18.35.
Michael Rose at Raymond James was quick on the draw Wednesday morning, upgrading shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners before the bell to 'outperform' from 'market perform' and hiking his target to $21. Nimble investors likely got a piece of the 10 percent jump Pinnacle put in after reporting strong third-quarter numbers, but the question is, "What now?" That $21 target would be the stock's highest price since the spring of 2009 (Ticker: PNFP) but it leaves little upside from Wednesday's close of $20.22. And the consensus target among analysts is still just $20.
Analysts at Sidoti & Co. have begun covering shares of National Health Investors with a 'neutral' rating. Sidoti becomes the seventh firm to follow NHI and the fifth to call it a hold. NHI shares (Ticker: NHI) have climbed about 20 percent so far in 2012.