Brian Tanquilut at Jefferies says investors are right to look at Acadia Healthcare as a solid M&A play in the behavioral health sector. But, he added late last week in raising his Acadia price target to $39 from $30, the company also is doing a very nice job raising margins at facilities once it owns them. Acadia (Ticker: ACHC) closed Friday trading at $31.64 and is up 35 percent so far this year.
Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel has hiked his rating on shares of Tractor Supply to ‘market outperform’ and lifted his price target to $125 from $100. That puts him at the head of the pack and alongside David Strasser from Janney Montgomery Scott. Tractor Supply shares (Ticker: TSCO) ended last week at almost $111.
David Strasser has joined the Tractor Supply bulls in a big way. The Janney Montgomery Scott analyst on Thursday hiked his rating on the farm and ranch retailer to 'buy' from 'neutral' and taken his price target from $97 all the way to $125. That's the highest number on the Street. Shares of Tractor Supply (Ticker: TSCO) ended Thursday trading a little above $108.
Ann Hynes at Mizuho Securities has reiterated her 'neutral' rating on shares of Community Health Systems following the company's first-quarter profit report. But like a number of her peers, she has also raised her price target on CHS and now sees the stock climbing to $48 instead of $41. CHS (Ticker: CYH) closed at $46.05 on Thursday.
Analysts at UBS Securities on Thursday reiterated their 'buy' rating on shares of Tractor Supply and hiked their price target to $125 from $117. That puts them at the top of the heap when it comes to targets and leaves about 13 percent of upside from where Tractor Supply (Ticker: TSCO) closed the day. Also raising his target is Adam Sindler at Deutsche Bank, who made a great call back in December when he told investors to pile back into Brentwood-based Tractor Supply. Sindler now has the stock climbing to $112, $5 higher than his previous target.
SEE ALSO: Tractor Supply Q1 EPS up 13%
The analyst day hosted this week by Tractor Supply executives elicited a good bit of reaction Thursday. By our count, the score was 2-1 for the bulls. Both Aram Rubinson at Nomura and Alan Rifkin at Barclays Capital see a clear path to further upside for Tractor Supply shares courtesy of sales growth, share buybacks and other factors. Said Rubinson: "The new store program is steady at 8% and comps are driven by multi-dimensional merchandising and a lot of unused space. We lift our target to $120 from $110, reflecting a consistent growth trajectory through 2015 (was 2014)."
On the flip side, Brent Rystrom at Feltl felt compelled to tap the brakes, downgrading his Tractor Supply recommendation to 'hold' from 'strong buy.' The stock's valuation, he said, has gotten a bit stretched. Tractor Supply shares (Ticker: TSCO) closed Thursday trading at $103.82 and have climbed almost 20 percent year to date.
Friday was progressing nicely for investors in Middle Tennessee's most prominent retail stocks, which like much of the market were buoyed a better-than-expected consumer sentiment report. Then Bloomberg broke the story that Wal-Mart's February-to-date sales have, in the words of one executive, been "a total disaster" and "one of those weeks where your best-prepared plans weren’t good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do."
And poof, there went the good vibes and a lot of people were set to spend the weekend fretting (again) about consumer spending post-tax hikes. Not surprisingly, Dollar General shares suffered the most among the locals, giving up more than 4 percent in the space of a few minutes and sliding some more into the close. But Tractor Supply, Genesco and Cracker Barrel also took their lumps.
For more on Wal-Mart's sales and what they say about the broader economy, check out the discussion on Friday's Options Action on CNBC.
With shares of Tractor Supply near all-time highs — and showing signs they have finally broken through resistance around $100 — UBS Securities has launched coverage of the company with a 'buy' rating and $117 price target. The firm — by our count, it is the 15th to rate Tractor Supply a 'buy' — says its recommendation is based on the potential for it to double its market share over time.
The trading plan set up by Tractor Supply Executive Chairman Jim Wright last week unloaded a big chunk of his holdings in the Brentwood-based farm and ranch products retailer. The plan, which was set up last November before Wright turned over his CEO title to Greg Sandfort, exercised 160,000 stock options granted in early 2007 and then sold the resulting shares on the open market. The resulting proceeds reached almost $11.5 million.
Patrick Scholes at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey isn't buying the idea that Ryman Hospitality Properties will quickly close the valuation gap to its peers. This morning, he cut his rating on the owner of the Gaylord family of hotels to a rare 'reduce' from 'neutral,' citing a rich valuation and the challenges it faces in growing revenue per available room. His price target is $34; shares of Ryman (Ticker: RHP) opened down slightly this morning and are changing hands around $40.
Over at Feltl in Minneapolis, Brent Rystrom has lifted his price target for shares of Tractor Supply to $112 from $105 after the farm and ranch retailer reported a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter. As of this morning, the median price target for Tractor Supply stands at $107 while the stock (Ticker: TSCO) is changing hands just above $100.