Analysts hike CHS rating, cut NHI on CEO news

Just as the dust is settling on the second-quarter earnings season, John Ransom at Raymond James has raised his rating on shares of Community Health Systems to 'outperform' from 'market perform.' He had gone in the other direction following the Supreme Court's Obamacare ruling in June, but the stock has since retreated near to pre-ruling levels. His new price target for the stock is $70. It was changing hands Friday morning (Ticker: CYH) at about $57.60.

Another analyst has weighed in on the prospects for shares of National Health Investors following word of the pending exit of CEO Justin Hutchens. And just like Juan Sanabria at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, John Kim at BMO Capital Markets says Hutchens' departure is a blow for NHI. He sees "very little managerial depth" at the Murfreesboro-based company and has lowered his rating on the company to 'market perform' from 'outperform.' He also has trimmed his price target more than 10 percent to $65. NHI (Ticker: NHI) is trading at about $58.50.

Aug 14, 2015 11:03 AM

CHS suit against Georgia hospital unsealed

The lawsuit filed by a Community Health Systems subsidiary against a Georgia hospital has been unsealed, a Columbus television station is reporting.

CHS sued cash-strapped St. Francis Hospital earlier this week for the $5 million it invested in an acquisition deal that later fell through. The Franklin company alleged Columbus-based St. Francis misrepresented itself in the acquisition negotiations. The hospital later signed a letter of intent to sell to CHS' locally based peer LifePoint Health.

From WTVM:

The hospital assured CHS that the hospital's problems were exclusively financial, according to the document…CHS says it later learned the hospital was notified the day before their meeting that the Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General initiated a legal investigation into the hospital.

Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) were $56.91. Year to date, they're up 5.5 percent.

Aug 13, 2015 11:20 AM

CHS signs long-term Antioch lease

Hickory Hollow office in addition to company's $66M new development
Aug 12, 2015 12:20 PM

CHS sues Georgia hospital after losing deal to LifePoint

Franklin company says St. Francis execs misrepresented finances
Aug 10, 2015 2:32 PM

Avondale analyst lifts Acadia target, sees potential in CHS trends

Analyst Paula Torch at Avondale Partners has raised her price target for shares of Acadia Healthcare following the company's second-quarter profit report. The Franklin-based behavioral health care provider is ahead of plan this year in adding beds to its facilities, and new projects will add to the company's ability to grow its top line to $4 billion by 2018. Torch also says margins — especially at the company's United Kingdom and acquired CRC operations — still have upside. That has led her to lift her target for Acadia, which closed Friday (Ticker: ACHC) at $81.78, to $96 from $84. Year to date, they're up more than 30 percent.

Though still highly leveraged, ACHC has consistently demonstrated its ability to generate cash from its current portfolio, and we expect continued solid operating cash flow in 2015 and 2016 to help ACHC execute on deals.

Torch also has taken stock of Community Health Systems' Q2 results and outlook. She's sticking with her 'outperform' rating even though volume and pricing trends "continue to lag peers," mostly due to hospitals previously owned by Health Management Associates. But the factors holding down CHS' valuation — its higher leverage and integration risks, among others — "are starting to mitigate and show signs of improvement," Torch writes. She still sees CHS (Ticker: CYH) climbing to $77 from the $56 and change at which it ended last week.

Aug 10, 2015 9:53 AM

CHS $260M Michigan acquisition talks end

Community Health Systems executives and their peers at the Metro Health hospital system in the Grand Rapids region have pulled the plug on a planned $260 million acquisition by the locally based industry leader. The parties' talks were first made public almost two years ago, and a succesful deal would have taken CHS into Michigan for the first time.

Metro Health opted to pursue a deal with Community Health Systems after rejecting proposals from other for-profit and nonprofit health systems, including the University of Michigan Health System and Livonia-based Trinity Health — the parent corporation of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids and Mercy Health Muskegon.

Aug 6, 2015 7:04 AM

CHS' Smith: Quorum is 'outstanding company to start with'

CEO says spinout will be able to focus on tech, acquisitions
Aug 5, 2015 7:17 AM

CHS CEO sees 'huge opportunity' for Quorum

Smith: Spin-out will allow hands-on development, acquisitions of smaller hospitals
Aug 4, 2015 1:48 PM

CHS to spin out 38 hospitals, QHR

Franklin company will create $2B publicly traded arm for smaller hospitals
Aug 3, 2015 4:10 PM

CHS sells Arizona hospital, ends acquisition talks in Georgia

Community Health Systems has sold Payson Regional Medical Center in Arizona to Banner Health.

Terms of the sale of the 44-bed hospital were not disclosed. Banner Health is a Phoenix-based nonprofit health system with 23 hospitals in six states. Following the deal, CHS will continue to operate three hospitals in Arizona.

Separately, The Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Georgia, reports that CHS execs have ended their talks with officials from the 376-bed St. Francis Hospital there. A buyout would have grown CHS' hospital network in Georgia to six.

Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) were down Friday afternoon to $58.51. Year to date, they're up 8.5 percent.

Aug 3, 2015 7:20 AM