Analyst calls lift Healthways, Tractor Supply

Shares of Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) are up more than 12 percent in the last of hour of trading today after Dougherty & Co. analyst Brooks O'Neil lifted his rating on the company to 'buy' from 'neutral' and said he sees the stock climbing to $20. The move came after Healthways published its second-quarter profits and said it expects to put up better margins for the rest of this year. "We still believe the earning power of the business far exceeds its current level and we think the presence of the agitator group (now with 3 board seats) has put incremental pressure on management to deliver solid results this year," O'Neil wrote. "Our thinking has evolved over the past few months to include a realization that there is limited downside and potentially positive upside here."

Also benefiting from a post-earnings analyst call is Tractor Supply. Feltl & Co. analyst Brent Rystrom now rates the stock a 'buy' instead of a 'hold,' and Rystrom now sees the Tractor Supply shares (Ticker: TSCO) headed to $68 from their Wednesday close of $61.07.

Jul 24, 2014 2:30 PM

Earnings wrap: Healthways, Tractor Supply

Wellness services provider sees margins growing; farm and ranch retailer hits lowered guidance
Jul 24, 2014 6:44 AM

Healthways drops E&Y after more than a decade

Fellow Big Four firm beats out incumbent, two others
Jul 9, 2014 7:00 AM

Healthways extends Highmark partnership

Population health management company Healthways announced today it has extended its SilverSneakers partnership with Highmark Inc. through 2017.

The insurer has partnered with Healthways for SilverSneakers, an exercise program aimed at seniors, since 2004. The partnership, which was set to expire this year, is available to nearly 400,000 Highmark Medicare members in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed in a release.

"By continuing to offer SilverSneakers through 2017, Highmark is demonstrating its long-term commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of its senior members," said Ben Leedle, Healthways president and CEO. "Healthways is proud to continue to partner with Highmark in offering a program that is proven to successfully transform participants' fitness and social activities, health attitudes and health outcomes."

Jun 19, 2014 12:30 PM

Healthways in JV with Texas docs

Companies to market administration, coaching, data services to other organizations
Jun 18, 2014 7:26 AM

Healthways names next chairman

Physicians Interactive CEO joined board last year
Jun 12, 2014 6:55 AM

Nashville health care's global reach

Health care is powerful and very visible force in Middle Tennessee, where it accounts for one out of every eight jobs. But entities based in and around Nashville also have an international reach that touches millions of people on just about every continent. Here, from our new Healthier magazine out new, are just a few data points.

Jun 10, 2014 5:32 AM

Ben Leedle has a slightly different interpretation of Healthways' North Tide board deal

Healthways CEO Ben Leedle on Tuesday passed on to his employees word of the wellness company's ceasefire with activist investment fund North Tide Capital. Calling the deal to give North Tide three board seats a "positive outcome," he also took time to point out that he — a prime target of North Tide manager Conan Laughlin — and other senior executives will stay in their jobs.

In addition, Leedle described the Strategic Review Committee that will soon be formed as having the goal "to assure that the board and management remain aligned on the company strategy." That's an interesting — and, given Laughlin's calls for big changes, perhaps somewhat optimistic — spin on the language contained in the standstill agreement, which says "the purpose of the Strategic Review Committee shall be to review, evaluate and make recommendations to the Board regarding the Company's business strategy."

Here's a copy of Leedle's email:

 

Jun 4, 2014 12:17 PM

Healthways, North Tide strike a deal

Ex-Caremark CEO out of the picture as three directors agree to step down; new committee to review strategies
Jun 3, 2014 7:19 AM

Healthways board challenger: 'This is clearly a turnaround situation'

North Tide Capital, the hedge fund taking aim at the Healthways board of directors, has updated its presentation to investors. The new version is beefed up with more questions about the company's investments in (and revenues from) initiatives such as MeYou Health, the Dean Ornish lifestyle management program and the Blue Zones partnership with Gallup. The new presentation — view it here and compare it to the old one here — strikes a tone that is softer at times but as strident as before in other places, especially in terms of the Healthways board's unconditional backing of CEO Ben Leedle and his strategies.

Some items that caught our eye:

• Addressing the company's insistence that its Silver Sneakers senior fitness program is a way to leverage costs across the company, North Tide manager Conan Laughlin says "Silver Sneakers funds a giant, money-losing science experiment."

• Tipping his hat to the board for disclosing that Healthways' international business posted a 2013 EBITDA of $3 million, Laughlin then turns around to say that means "the non-Silver Sneakers business loses more money than we had thought."

• North Tide quotes a note from Dougherty & Co. analyst Brooks O'Neil that thinks out loud about director candidate Mac Crawford becoming not just executive chairman if elected, but also filling the CEO seat now held by Leedle.

Jun 2, 2014 7:12 AM