Analyst Sarah James has formally begun covering shares of Nashville's big three hospital operators as well as other prominent health care players. She rates both HCA Holdings and Community Health Systems at 'outperform,' saying investors will benefit from, among other things, the growth of HCA's Parallon support services unit and CHS' potential for margin expansion. James isn't as bullish on the prospects of LifePoint Health, which she has given a 'neutral' rating.
Over at Goldman Sachs, analysts have launched coverage of Amsurg with a 'buy' rating and $81 target. That's 17 percent above where AmSurg (Ticker: AMSG) closed Wednesday trading.
Avondale Partners analyst Paula Torch has raised her price target for Nashville-based AmSurg to $74 from $69.
The firm has maintained its 'market outperform' for the company, saying its raised guidance for revenues in a range of $2.46 billion to $2.48 billion could be conservative.
"[AmSurg] is executing on its JV partnerships, cross-selling initiatives, and we believe the pipeline for acquisitions remains plentiful," Torch said in a report issued Wednesday.
Shares of AmSurg (Ticker: AMSG) were up to $64.75 Thursday morning. Year to date, they've climbed 18 percent.
Shares of AmSurg jumped more than 4 percent Thursday — and closed within 3 percent of their all-time high — after analysts at Stephens launched coverage of the ambulatory surgery and physician services company with an 'overweight' rating at $77 price target. That last number is the highest on the Street and $10 above the median target. It leaves more than 20 percent of upside for AmSurg (Ticker: AMSG), which already has climbed 16 percent year to date.
The limited partner units of Delek Logistics Partners (Ticker: DKL) fell about 3 percent to $41.59 Thursday after Barclays analyst Richard Gross reiterated his 'hold' rating. Gross has a $45 price target for the company, which Wells Fargo Securities' Roger Read and Lauren Hendrix say would benefit big time from any deal between Delek US Holdings and Alon USA Energy.
Plenty of Nashville health care insiders will have their eye this morning on Dallas, where Tenet Healthcare has announced plans to take over United Surgical Partners International via a joint venture with Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe. The deal, which calls for Tenet to become the sole owner of USPI by 2020, creates a surgery center company on par with that of AmSurg with operations in 26 states. Tenet and Welsh Carson execs also have announced a $215 million deal for Aspen Healthcare, which runs nine hospitals and outpatient facilities in the United Kingdom — where HCA also has a hospital business.
AmSurg Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer Kevin Eastridge took advantage of the 13 percent year-to-date run up in the company's shares to cash in almost a fifth of his shares in the company. Eastridge, who has been with Nashville-based AmSurg since 1997, grossed more than $540,000 on the sale. AmSurg (Ticker: AMSG) is changing hands at a record high and is now worth almost $3 billion.
At behavioral health care provider Acadia Healthcare, VP of Finance Robert Swinson on Monday sold off about 7 percent of his holdings for almost $400,000. Acadia shares (Ticker: ACHC) have climbed about 7 percent year to date.
POSTDATA: WARRANTY DEEDS