Color John Ransom enthusiastic about AmSurg's game-changing play for Sheridan Healthcare. The veteran Raymond James analyst has upgraded shares of the ambulatory surgery company all the way to 'strong buy' from 'market perform' and sees the stock (Ticker: AMSG) rising to $60 from the $45.74 where it closed Thursday. Ransom also has raised his 2015 EPS estimate for AmSurg to $3.15 from $2.77.
Shares of LifePoint Hospitals hit an all-time high of $63.07 Friday morning thanks in part to an upgrade from Ann Hynes at Mizuho. Hynes now rates the hospital operator a 'buy' instead of a 'neutral' and has raised her target to $72 from $58. LifePoint shares (Ticker: LPNT) are up almost 2 percent to $61.99 in late-morning trading.
Raymond James analyst Bryan Elliott has upgraded shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store to 'market perform' from 'underperform.' The upgrade comes a few days after fellow analyst Stephen Anderson of Miller Tabak said he sees better days ahead for Cracker Barrel in the summer and a week after Cracker Barrel CEO Sandy Cochran said she and her team will look to generate $50 million in annual cost savings by 2017. At about 11:15 a.m., shares of the Lebanon-based company (Ticker: CBRL) were up about 1 percent to $97.70. They're off about 11 percent so far this year.
The local office of Raymond James has scored a nice win by recruiting financial advisors Paul Allen and David Schadel from Wiley Bros.-Aintree Capital. Allen (left in the photo) and Schadel, who had been with Wiley for a combined 14-plus years, manage about $200 million for the clients. Along with Client Services Manager Heather Beckwith, they are now based in Maryland Farms.
Two analysts are expecting good things from Pinnacle Financial Partners following the company's fourth-quarter report, which pumped up the stock by 7 percent Wednesday. At Sterne Agee, Peyton Green has raised his rating to 'buy' from 'hold,' while Jefferson Harralson at Keefe Bruyette & Woods now rates the stock at 'outperform,' up from 'market perform.' Harralson now sees Pinnacle (Ticker: PNFP) going to $40 instead of $30; the stock ended Wednesday's session at $34.50.
Cory Garcia at Raymond James isn't as upbeat about the prospects for Delek US Holdings shares for a number reasons. In downgrading the stock (Ticker: DK), Garcia cites both valuation and a lack of near-term catalysts for the refining sector in general. Delek shares closed Wednesday at $32.51 and have climbed more than 20 percent in the past three months.
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.