Mizuho Securities analyst Ann Hynes has lifted her price target on shares of Community Health Systems to $48 from $45 but kept her 'neutral' rating on the company. CHS (Ticker: CYH) ended Tuesday trading at $45.07.
William Crow at Raymond James didn't like the look of Ryman Hospitality Properties' Q2 results Tuesday. He downgraded the stock (Ticker: RHP) to 'market perform' from 'outperform.' His target for Ryman now is $48, which is still well above the stock's current level of $35 and change.
There are few such worries for Tractor Supply investors. A handful of analysts have recently hiked their price targets. Joining them Tuesday was John Staszak of Argus Research, who now sees shares of the Brentwood-based farm and ranch retailer (Ticker: TSCO) to $140 from $128.
Raymond James analyst Bryan Elliott last week downgraded a number of restaurant chains, including Lebanon-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, for two reasons. The first was due to the companies' valuations following a strong run for many of them — Cracker Barrel (Ticker: CBRL) has climbed more than 50 percent since New Year's. The second is more worrisome, though: Elliott also pointed to a slowdown on consumer spending since the beginning of June.
In a bit of a delayed reaction to Pinnacle Financial Partners' second-quarter profit report, Raymond James analyst Michael Rose on Thursday morning upgraded shares of the bank holding company to 'outperform' from 'market perform.' Rose also lifted his target for Pinnacle (Ticker: PNFP) to $30, which led investors to bid the stock up above $29 for a bit this morning before retreating somewhat.
Still, Pinnacle is on course to close trading with a market cap of more than $1 billion for the first time ever. That brings to 20 the number of Middle Tennessee companies that can brag about that.
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.
Raymond James analyst John Ransom on Tuesday lowered his earnings estimates for Community Health Systems and several of its peers, saying hospital admissions look to be softening this fall. (See HCA's preview of its Q3 results.) In his note, Ransom also added his two cents on the upcoming election's possible effect on publicly traded hospital companies.
In his view, the stocks will rise 10 to 15 percent if President Obama is re-elected because health care reform could lead to stronger growth starting in 2014. If former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is elected he thinks investors will be concerned about their business fundamentals and the potential fiscal cliff in 2013, and the shares will decline somewhat.
CHS (Ticker: CYH) gave up 1.4 percent Tuesday, as did LifePoint Hospitals and Vanguard Health. Industry leader HCA, on the other hand, dropped almost 4 percent.
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.
Add Nicholas Jansen to the more skeptical hospital analysts following the runup in the wake of the Supreme Court's health reform ruling. The Raymond James analyst has downgraded shares of HCA Holdings and LifePoint — both were previously 'strong buys' — to 'outperform' and 'market perform,' respectively. HCA (Ticker: HCA) is up about 34 percent this year, LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) about 7 percent.
Brad Thomas at KeyBanc Capital has downgraded shares of Tractor Supply to 'hold' from 'buy,' saying the retailer is facing "increased risk from high valuation and lofty expectations." On top of that, he says, several consumer spending indicators are flashing warning signs. Shares of Tractor Supply (Ticker: TSCO) have given up some ground of late but are still up 30 percent this year.
Over at Raymond James, Aziz Pirbhoy is giving Dollar General a thumbs up on its move into frozen and refrigerated foods. Dollar General (Ticker: DG) is up 27 percent year to date and pushing for new all-time highs.