Even if the chatter about losing Cigna's business turns out to be on the mark, Healthways is on the right track, says Dougherty analyst Brooks O'Neil, and investors should jump in now that its stock (Ticker: HWAY) is trading around $15, down more than 10 percent from last week's levels. O'Neil has actually hiked his price target to $20 from $19.
Analyst Rob Mains at Morgan Keegan has launched coverage of health care real estate investment trust National Health Investors with an 'outperform' rating. Mains — who also covers local players Brookdale Senior Living, Healthcare Realty Trust and NHC — says the Murfreesboro-based company "can pursue relatively modest sized, reasonably-priced acquisitions that will have a meaningful effect on its asset base and growth rate, while not attracting a crowd of potential acquirors that could bid up the price." Mains is a bit below the Street's consensus with his 2011 and 2012 EPS estimates, but sees NHI shares (Ticker: NHI) to get to $50 in the coming quarters. They closed Tuesday trading at $46.56.
At Zacks Equity Research, analysts have started covering Healthways with a 'neutral' rating. The firm's high-level analysis neatly contrasts the company's "meaningful growth" opportunities in the next 18 months with the impact of a slow economy and Healthways' modest success internationally. Shares of Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) are up more than 50 percent so far in 2011.
Without any apparent news catalyst shares of disease management company Healthways surged 7.5 percent Friday on volume more than triple its daily average. (We doubt this analyst downgrade did the trick.) The move took the stock (Ticker: HWAY) to a 52-week high. A little more and it'll be above $20 for the first time since August of 2008.
Ben Leedle, president and CEO of Healthways, has been elevated to a two-year term as chairman of the Nashville Health Care Council. Leedle succeeds Joey Jacobs, who put in a three-year term at the helm of the trade group. In addition, the following big names have been named new members of the board: BlueCross President and COO Bill Gracey, Vanderbilt Health System Deputy Vice Chancellor Wright Pinson, Saint Thomas Health Services President and CEO Mike Schatzlein and Community Health Systems Chairman, President and CEO Wayne Smith.
Franklin wellness and disease management firm Healthways has a deal to provide its SilverSneakers Fitness Program to WPS Health Insurance in Wisconsin. More than 38,000 of the nonprofit health insurer's residents will have access to the program through the deal.
What might Healthways' new $380 million partnership with HP mean for the company's growth prospects in 2012? In Sunday's Tennessean, Randy McClain explores how, with the technology giant's help (and its reach into the Medicare market), Healthways might be able to sustain growth in the company's shares. Healthways' stock (Ticker: HWAY) was trading in the single digits at the start of the year.