Not surprisingly, investors are bidding up shares of local hospital companies following President Obama's re-election. An hour and a half into trading, industry leader HCA Holdings and Franklin-based Community Health Systems are both up almost 7 percent. Vanguard Health — which traded almost 16 percent higher at one point — is 8 percent to the good. Apparently not invited to the party is LifePoint Hospitals, which is up less than 1 percent.
Shareholders of companies not in the hospital business aren't having a good day, though. Fretting over the fiscal cliff has all of the major indices down more than 2 percent.
SEE ALSO: A post-election health care wrap from Bloomberg
Near the conclusion of his team’s third-quarter investor conference call Wednesday, Community Health Systems Chairman and CEO Wayne Smith said something interesting about the Presidential election and the impact it might have on the health care industry, an opinion not often voiced among the local cadre of hospital owners.
Asked by an analyst — mostly in jest — whom Smith and company CFO Larry Cash would vote for, Cash said he wouldn’t be voting on Tuesday because … drum roll … he’d already voted early.
But Smith — who also has voted early — added something more compelling. Here it is verbatim:
“I’ll tell you this. Even though I went to Auburn, I certainly wouldn’t make a prediction on the election. It’s so close. But if it’s a Romney win, you’re going to test our ability to continue productivity and develop new strategies around reductions in cost and how we can better deliver our care at a lesser cost. If President Obama is re-elected, then we’ll continue to work on the revenue side.The industry strategy will change as soon as we know who’s elected.”
Investors wrestling with just how much to pay for many health care stocks ahead of the presidential election will have another factor to consider come Friday morning. Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut says hospital chains and other providers could suffer if Paul Ryan puts up a good performance against Joe Biden. Since Mitt Romney's strong debate last week, HCA shares (Ticker: HCA) are off almost 10 percent.
Mitt Romney's widely lauded performance in Wednesday night's presidential debate is generating some skittishness among investors in health care stocks, given his opposition to President Obama's health reform package. That has shares of local hospital companies HCA Holdings and Community Health Systems trying to recover from early trading that had them down more than 5 percent. Shares of LifePoint Hospitals also are down more than 2 percent but Vanguard Health Systems (Ticker: VHS) is escaping the drama so far.
SEE ALSO: MarketWatch's story on today's trading
Williamson County Republican Party officials have received a letter and a flash drive allegedly containing the stolen tax records of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Jean Barwick, the county GOP's executive director, said that an envelope was found at the front door of the party headquarters on Main Street in Franklin on Friday.
Post reporter Ken Whitehouse, who first reported the story Tuesday night, has an updated piece on The City Paper website.
The attention being paid to Mitt Romney's tax records could reach a fever pitch in the next month if claims by an anonymous hacker/group's claims of infiltrating the Cool Springs office of CPA giant PricewaterhouseCoopers turn out to be true. The hacker says it entered the firm's Corporate Centre offices on the night of Aug. 25 and set about downloading many Romney files.
"Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied. A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney's tax returns before 2010."
Our man Ken Whitehouse has more details — including a $1 million Bitcoin payoff plan and a Sept. 28 data release date — from the case.
Rick Perry gets some endorsements from some Tennessee lawmakers. The full release is here.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry today announced the endorsement of six Republican Tennessee lawmakers, including Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown, State Sen. Jim Summerville of Dickson, House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny of Tullahoma, State Rep. Don Miller of Morristown and State Rep. Mark White of Memphis.