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.
Two Texas investment firms have declared sizable stakes in local companies. First up, Vaughan Nelson Investment Management of Houston added to its stake in AmSurg late in 2014, finishing the year with more than 2.2 million shares, or 5.9 percent. Vaughan Nelson manages more than $6.6 billion. AmSurg shares (Ticker: AMSG) finished last week at $55.56 and have climbed 11 percent over the past three months.
Further up Interstate 45 in Dallas, Nokomis Capital filed papers to say it now owns almost 1.2 million shares, or 6.8 percent, of home goods retailer Kirkland's. The hedge fund, which was launched in 2008, manages almost $400 million. Kirkland's has been on a good sales and profits run of late, with its shares (Ticker: KIRK) having climbed 35 percent over the past three months.
Analysts at Jeffries Group have begun coverage on Nashville-based AmSurg. Starting last week, the firm gave the ambulatory surgery company a 'buy' rating and a price target of $65. Shares of AmSurg (Ticker: AMSG) closed down about 2 percent at $55.34 Monday. In the last six months, they're up 12 percent.
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