Analyst: HCA's Q2 could lead to 'stock-enhancing capital deployment'

Jefferies & Co. analyst Brian Tanquilut sees bigger things coming from HCA Holdings' positive earnings preview this week. He thinks that "HCA's strong cash flows open up opportunities for stock-enhancing capital deployment" such as acquisitions or share buybacks. (The company late last year spent $500 million to repurchase some of its stock.) Tanquilut also lifted his price target for HCA to $72 from $70.

Jul 18, 2014 6:47 AM

Did HCA sandbag on Obamacare boost?

Veteran Wells Fargo analyst Gary Lieberman says the guidance raise by HCA Holdings Wednesday looks to be on the conservative side given that the benefits of health care reform aren't going to end anytime soon. He has reiterated his 'outperform' rating on shares of HCA, which jumped 10 percent (Ticker: HCA) to a record high. On the flip side, Paula Torch at Avondale tells Investor's Business Daily that HCA is proving (again) to be best in class.

Jul 17, 2014 9:54 AM

HCA shares hit all-time high after health reform boosts results

Company lifts guidance on back of strong Q2; local hospital peers also up nicely
Jul 16, 2014 12:51 PM

Analyst action: HCA, LP

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.

Jul 9, 2014 6:58 AM

Hospital stocks drop after decline in health care spending

Hospital stocks were trading down Thursday following Wednesday's news that health care spending declined in the first quarter. The overall GDP dropped by 2.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and health care spending fell by 1.4 percent.

Shares of Community Health Systems (Ticker: CYH) saw the biggest drop, down about 3.2 percent just before the market closed Thursday. Shares of HCA Holdings (HCA) were down 1.9 percent, while shares of LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT) were down by about 1.3 percent.

Jun 26, 2014 3:45 PM

HCA exec books $1M+ on stock options

Juan Vallarino, HCA senior VP of employer and payer engagement, topped $1 million in stock option profits this month, exercising 15,000 options on both June 5 and June 20. Vallarino sold the resulting shares and booked more than $1.1 million on the moves. Shares of HCA (Ticker: HCA) have climbed 22 percent during the last six months and are up 51 percent over the past year.

Jun 25, 2014 10:00 PM

HCA to buy AIG office buildings

Hospital operator HCA has signed a contract to purchase the American General Center in South Davidson County from global insurance company AIG, The Tennessean reports.

A purchase price for the two office buildings, totaling 300,000 square feet, was not released, and HCA says it does not yet have a plan for the property, according to the morning daily.

Shares of HCA (Ticker: HCA), at $57.61 Monday morning, were up 5 percent last week. Year to date, they're up 20 percent.

Jun 23, 2014 7:02 AM

BofA analyst: Hospital profits see reform boost

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Kevin Fischbeck named HCA Holdings and Community Health Systems as his top picks Tuesday, saying improved profits were a likely result of the Affordable Care Act.

Fischbeck raised his price target for HCA by $3 to $65 and maintained his CHS target of $63, and also singled out LifePoint Hospitals. Citing fewer bad debts and charity cases in the first quarter through Medicaid expansion, Fischbeck said reform benefits were clear. As coverage ramps up in the second quarter, hospitals should continue to benefit.

"Once people get insurance, there is an immediate change in how payments flow through the system," he said.

Shares of HCA (Ticker: HCA) and LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) were down slightly Tuesday to $55.56 and $64.32, respectively. Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) were up 1 percent to $44.43.

Jun 18, 2014 11:10 AM

HCA to add Dallas stand-alone ER

HCA executives in North Texas have signed an agreement to lease a building with more than 10,000 square feet and plan to convert it into a stand-alone emergency department. The former Wolf Camera Store location north of downtown Dallas will be the sixth ER HCA has opened in the city. The company (Ticker: HCA) is pursuing a similar strategy in several of its other important markets.

Jun 17, 2014 7:17 AM

Genesco, HCA execs cash in some big chips

Genesco Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer Paul Williams this week cut his stake in the shoe and hat retailer by 40 percent by selling almost 10,000 of his shares. Williams' proceeds from the sale came to nearly $750,000. Shares of Genesco (Ticker: GCO) are up about 5 percent year to date.

Shares of hospital giant HCA Holdings (Ticker: HCA) have been on a nice run of late, climbing 13 percent in the last two months and 35 percent over the past year. Juan Vallarino, the company's senior VP of employer and payer engagement, took advantage of that this week by exercising 15,000 stock options that would have expired in 2021 and then selling the resulting shares. His profit on those moves topped $565,000.

Jun 13, 2014 10:56 AM