Analyst action: HCA, AAC, Pinnacle

Shares of HCA Holdings are on the list of 10 catalyst-driven picks for the second quarter at BofA Merrill Lynch. The firm's analysts say a favorable Supreme Court ruling in King vs. Burwell — which is expected by late June — will give the country's largest private hospital operator "plenty of upside possibility with little downside." HCA shares (Ticker: HCA) are up slightly so far this year.

Raymond James analysts have added AAC Holdings to their list of must-own health care stocks for the coming months. AAC (Ticker: AAC), which went public late last year, is down just a bit so far in 2015.

Our playbook for 2015 encompasses four key themes to invest behind: above-average growth (relative to peer groups), reform (which has been strong on the exchange front and could see a bump in Medicaid enrollment as more states expand Medicaid), capital deployment optionality, and free cash flow generation (the last two provide downside support and can act as incremental growth drivers).

And lastly for now, Sandler O'Neil analyst Stephen Scouten has lowered his rating on shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners (Ticker: PNFP) to 'hold' from 'buy' after they hit his $44 target. However, he has tweaked that target to $47.

Apr 2, 2015 9:49 AM

Capella posts net loss in Q4

Franklin company boosts revenues by nearly $20M
Mar 27, 2015 12:22 PM

Ameris Health planning to reopen Arkansas hospital

Nashville-based Ameris Health is negotiating the revival of Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis, Arkansas.

According to WREG Memphis, Ameris is proposing a $15 million investment in the bankrupt facility, which closed in 2014.

However, negotiations also include the second passage of a 1 percent sales tax by Crittenden County. The county first passed the tax last year to help the hospital meet budget shortfalls. But when a fire damaged the building and the hospital filed for bankruptcy, the tax was repealed, reported the Memphis Business Journal.

According to Ameris' website, the hospital could be operational by September.

Mar 27, 2015 6:45 AM

Opposition aplenty to Brentwood ER plans

TriStar, Saint Thomas come out against other's CON; VUMC doesn't want either
Mar 12, 2015 7:26 AM

CHS lands new $1.7B credit agreement

Community Health Systems executives have amended their credit agreement to repay in full a $1.7 billion loan that was set to mature in January 2017.

The new $1.7 billion loan carries the same interest rate as the company's previous loan, LIBOR plus 3.25 percent, and expires nearly two years later, on Dec. 31, 2018.

Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) fell 3.5 percent Monday to $48.97. In the last three months, they're down nearly 5 percent.

Mar 10, 2015 6:49 AM

Iasis Health Choice inks Utah contract

Hospital company continues to grow managed care operations
Mar 9, 2015 1:53 PM

HCA, CHS, Cracker Barrel execs in $3M+ stock sales

A handful of executives at some of Middle Tennessee's most prominent public companies saw last week as a good time to book some profits on their stock holdings. Here's a rundown:

As part of a trading plan, HCA Holdings Controller Don Stinnett exercised almost 10,500 options that would have expired in early 2017 for about $5 each and then sold the same number of shares for $76. His profit on the transactions came to more than $740,000. HCA shares (Ticker: HCA) are essentially flat for the year.

Over at Community Health Systems, Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Hammons exercised 8,000 options that would have expired this summer, then sold that number of shares. On top of that, he also sold more than 10,600 other shares. His total proceeds on the deals topped $600,000. In addition, Division President Michael Portacci sold about a quarter of his stock in the Franklin-based company. His bank account is now almost $750,000 to the good. Fellow Division President Bill Hussey grossed $454,000 from a similar sale. He still owns almost $6 million of CHS shares (Ticker: CYH), which are down about 6 percent year to date.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's marketing chief Chris Ciavarra also was a seller, unloading a quarter of his stake in the restaurant and retail company for more than $670,000. The sale comes after Cracker Barrel (Ticker: CBRL) popped to an all-time high in the wake of strong earnings. Year to date, the stock is up 5 percent.

Mar 9, 2015 7:13 AM

In Charge 2015: Health Care

Mar 8, 2015 11:50 AM

CHS looks at growing managed care revenue

Company could achieve another $150M in HMA synergies in '15
Mar 6, 2015 7:07 AM

CHS selling two South Carolina hospitals

Second SC sale for CHS this year
Mar 3, 2015 2:45 PM