Darren Lehrich at Deutsche Bank has upgraded to 'buy' from 'hold' the shares of a number of hospital companies based on his overall optimism about the sector, both fundamentally and politically. For HCA Holdings, he is keeping his price target at $32 despite saying that the industry leader (Ticker: HCA) will continue to "stand out from the group." Lehrich also sees Community Health Systems benefiting from a broader rally and has hiked his price target for the Franklin-based company to $33 from $22.
Over at Mizuho Securities, analyst Ann Hynes is a good bit less upbeat about CHS. She has kept her rating at 'neutral' but has lifted her target to $21 from $19. The interesting aspect of this: CHS climbed about 15 percent Wednesday (Ticker: CYH) and is following through Thursday morning, rising another 3 percent to more than $24.50.
Another investment bank has begun covering shares of Acadia Healthcare, the behavioral health care venture run by the former Psychiatric Solutions executive team. Analysts at Citi rate the shares (Ticker: ACHC) a 'buy' and see them going to $14.50 — the highest target on the Street — from their current level of about $11.50. Their move came a few days after Deutsche Bank launched coverage of Acadia with a 'hold' rating and $13.50 price target.
Louisiana-Pacific and Deutsche Bank Securities are asking a California District Court judge to schedule a case management conference ASAP to get the local building materials supplier's lawsuit against Deutsche and financial advisor Money Market 1 Institutional Investment Dealer back on track. LP in 2009 filed suit against the two financial players over its losses from investments in auction-rate securities. While Deutsche has cooperated in trying to settle things, MM1 has been recalcitrant and recently told the other two parties it intends to soon file another notice to be removed from the case. Its first attempt was denied this spring.
Shares of Delek US are off more than 10 percent after Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Sankey lowered his rating on the energy holding company to 'hold' from 'buy.' Sankey also trimmed his price target for Brentwood-based Delek to $16 from $20. In the last half hour of regular trading Thursday, Delek is changing hands around $12.25, which is still up more than 65 percent this year.
Deutsche Bank analyst Darren Lehrich on Wednesday downgraded a fistful of hospital chains to 'hold' from 'buy' and gave his price targets for their shares a serious haircut. All four locally traded chains — HCA, Community Health, LifePoint and Vanguard — were downgraded. Lehrich now sees HCA shares (Ticker: HCA), which went public at more than $30 in March, rising to just $23, down from $33. His outlook on CHS (Ticker: CYH) is similarly unambitious: He has slashed his target to $15 from $27.
Barring a strong last-hour turnaround, many Nashville-area stocks are set to end their first October trading day deep in the red. While the broader market was under pressure thanks to renewed doubts about Greece's debt situation — at about 2:15 Central, the S&P 500 Index was down 2.1 percent — many local companies were being treated much more harshly by investors.
More than a dozen Middle Tennessee were down at least 6 percent in the last hour of Monday trading. Leading the losers' list were Noranda Aluminum, BioMimetic Therapeutics and O'Charley's, all of which were down more than 10 percent after steadily giving ground as the day wore on. Noranda and its peers were stung by a downgrade from Deutsche Bank analyst Jorge Beristain, who said slowing global growth will hurt their profits.
Hospital chains HCA, CHS and LifePoint also posted big drops, as did fellow health care names Healthways, HealthStream and Brookdale Senior Living. Tellingly, not a single local name is up on the day.
Analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities have launched coverage of a group of hospitality and gaming companies — Gaylord Entertainment among them — with mixed ratings based on their exposure to international growth, which will be fare better than the U.S. market. That puts Gaylord shares (Ticker: GET) — which hit a 2011 low on Wednesday and are down 45 percent this year — in the 'hold' camp along with Choice and Host.
"Our analysis leads us to the conclusion that 2012 may well be a bumpy year for domestic lodging fundamentals. However, given our view that current valuations in the sector reflect a less optimistic outlook for 2012 RevPAR performance than our current forecast, we believe long opportunities exist."