UBS Securities analyst A.J. Rice says HCA's second-quarter profits won't look great at first blush — comparisons with year-ago numbers will be tough for a number of reasons — but adds that he's heartened by executives' positive tone earlier this quarter. Rice has lifted his price target for the stock of Nashville's largest company (Ticker: HCA) to $67 from $58 and is optimistic hospital operators will say they're benefiting nicely from health insurance reform. HCA shares fell almost 2 percent Tuesday to $54.52 but are up about 15 percent year to date.
There are far fewer reasons to be optimistic for Louisiana-Pacific investors these days, judging by the moves of analysts at Dundee Securities and RBC Capital Markets. At the first firm, Steve Atkinson on Tuesday launched coverage of the construction materials manufacturer with a 'sell' rating and $13 price target, which is 14 percent below where LP shares (Ticker: LPX) began trading yesterday. Atkinson's main reason is a price war that will hurt margins and has him projecting a Q2 loss that stands in sharp contrast to the consensus. At RBC, Paul Quinn has cut his rating to 'sector perform' from 'outperform' and sees LP shares climbing back to only $16 in the coming quarters.
BMO Capital Markets analyst Stephen Atkinson kicked off his week by lifting his price target for shares of Louisiana-Pacific to $25 from $24. While it's not a huge move, it has helped the stock (Ticker: LPX) stay ahead of a lackluster market today. As of 1:35 p.m., the shares were up 1 percent to $22.52, putting them within 3 percent of their highest levels since the first few weeks of 2007. They've climbed 170 percent in the past year as housing market optimism has risen.
Analyst Stephen Atkinson at BMO Capital Markets says the rising single-family housing market bodes well for Louisiana-Pacific. His firm has hiked its housing starts forecasts for this year and next, and Atkinson himself has upgraded shares of downtown-based LP (Ticker: LPX) to 'outperform' from 'market perform.' His $24 price target, however, isn't changing yet, leaving 20 percent of upside from where the stock opened Friday morning.
Analyst Stephen Atkinson at BMO Capital Markets on Wednesday added to the optimism surrounding shares of Louisiana-Pacific. Prediciting a 20 percent jump in 2013 sales, Atkinson hiked his price target for LP shares (Ticker: LPX) to $24 from $18, leaving about 15 percent of upside from their current levels. Like others have said recently, Atkinson expects prices for oriented strand board to drop this year and next, but they'll still be high enough to power some serious profit growth.
John Perry at Deutsche Bank also has hiked his price target for Healthcare Realty Trust, but the REIT's outlook is nowhere near as bright as for LP. Perry's $24 target — up from $20 — is $1 below where Healthcare Realty (Ticker: HR) closed Wednesday's session, and he rates the stock — along with most of the other REITs he covers — a 'hold.'
BMO Capital Markets analyst Stephen Atkinson has hiked his price target for shares of Louisiana-Pacific to $18 from $15. The move by Atkinson, who reiterated his 'market perform' rating, hasn't helped lift LP shares (Ticker: LPX) all that much, but does give them a little more headroom. They've almost doubled this year as optimism about the housing market has risen. Mutual fund manager Ryan Underhill says the Nashville-based company is one of his favorite picks and could well surprise with its fourth-quarter numbers on the back of strong pricing and better demand.
Scott Krasik at BB&T Capital Markets has given Genesco investors a welcome boost after they've seen shares of the local shoe and hat retailer slide 10 percent over the past three months. Krasik has raised his rating on Genesco to 'buy' from 'hold' and has a new $68 target for its shares. Genesco shares (Ticker: GCO) are up 6 percent to about $60.10 in afternoon trading.
Stephen Atkinson at BMO Capital Markets sees better times ahead for Louisiana-Pacific. He has upgraded shares of the building materials supplier to 'market perform' from 'underperform' on the heels of the company's second-quarter earnings report and says higher prices will feed through to the bottom line. His $11.25 price target for the stock (Ticker: LPX) leaves about 10 percent of upside from Wednesday's close.
Nowhere near as upbeat about LP is Gail Glazerman at UBS, who doesn't see strong prices lasting long. Manufacturers, she says, will bring more supply to market. Glazerman has reiterated her 'sell' rating but lifted her LP price target to $9.
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