Community Health Systems President and CFO Larry Cash on Wednesday exercised a big block of stock options that would have expired in July. The longtime wingman of CHS boss Wayne Smith paid about $40 to exercise the 200,000 options and sold 195,000 of them for almost $48. The transactions generated a profit of more than $1.2 million for Cash, who still owns 150,000 other options exercisable at prices between $18 and $38. CHS shares (Ticker: CYH) rose nicely Thursday to close at $48.79 but are down about 10 percent year to date.
HCA Holdings officials have agreed to pay $15 million to a Kansas City foundation set up more than a decade ago when the company acquired a network of nonprofit hospitals. The settlement between HCA and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City ends a dispute over how much charitable care the Nashville-based hospital company provided in the decade following its acquisition.
HCA Midwest did not say what its exact charity care spending has been, but a court-ordered accounting audit helped arrive at the $15 million settlement.
The charity settlement doesn’t affect litigation in which the foundation has charged that HCA also failed to spend contractually promised amounts on capital improvements at the former Health Midwest properties, including Research Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center and Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
Read the full story from the Kansas City Star here.
LifePoint Hospitals is pursuing a deal with Clark Memorial Hospital, a 241-bed hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana, according to The Courier-Journal.
Clark Memorial has engaged in partnerships with Norton Healthcare, a Louisville-based health system, since 2012. LifePoint and Norton formed a joint venture around the same time, called the Regional Health Network of Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The Courier-Journal reports the three entities are pursuing a potential regional partnership combining clinical resources and operating experience.
Shares of LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) were down to $66.99 Monday afternoon. In the last six months, they're down 7 percent.
Analyst Paula Torch at Avondale Partners isn't spooked by the 2015 earnings guidance from the leaders of HCA Holdings, wihch at one point had the hospital giant's shares down more than 3 percent early on Tuesday. In reiterating her 'market outperform' rating and $83 target — HCA (Ticker: HCA) is changing hands this morning at $69 and change — she says investors should stay the course: "Peeling back the layers and adjusting for non-recurring items, HITECH, and comp expense, the midpoint of guidance is ~7% growth YoY, with 4.5-5% of it from core. In our view, any weakness in the stock from what we believe is conservative 2015 guidance represents a buying opportunity."
At Credit Suisse, Ralph Giacobbe has similar thoughts, saying he's "encouraged with the confidence around organic growth assumption (4.5%-5%) at the higher end of its targeted goal" and expects HCA execs to put their financial muscle to good use. He has, however, trimmed his price target to $81 from $83.
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