Avondale Partners analyst Richard Close says investors should jump at the chance to pick up shares of HealthStream after they took an 11 percent lickin' Thursday (Ticker: HSTM) following the company's Q4 report and issuance of 2015 guidance. That guidance of a drop in net income of about a third will scare off some investors, Close said, but it should turn out to be on the conservative side as the company reaps the rewards of various investments. Sticking to his 'market outperform' target and $33 target, Close told clients Thursday that HealthStream "has built an extremely valuable platform and product additions can help sustain steady growth [...] We would get more aggressive on a meaningful pullback."
Over at Deutsche Bank, analysts Ryan Todd and Igor Grinman are nowhere near as bullish on the prospects of Delek US Holdings. They say the Brentwood-based owner of refineries in East Texas and Arkansas is at a relative disadvantage to some competitors and have trimmed their price target to $37 from $40. Delek (Ticker: DK) closed Thursday trading at $32.95.
Hedge fund Lone Pine Capital this week said it has since last August trimmed its stake in Dollar General by almost 5 million shares to 12.9 million, or about 4.3 percent of the Goodlettsville-based retailer. Lone Pine last summer built up its stake in Dollar General as the takeover battle for Family Dollar took shape. Since mid-August, Dollar General (Ticker: DG) is up more than 20 percent.
Making an even more pronounced move out of Delek US Holdings late last year was Steadfast Capital Management, which last spring had doubled its stake in the parent of Mapco to 6.2 percent. The fund run by Robert Pitts Jr. had trimmed its holdings a bit over the summer to 3.1 million shares but got out altogether during the fourth quarter. Stepping in to buy more than 1.3 million of those shares was D.E. Shaw, which now owns 7.2 percent of Delek, up from 5 percent in September.
Delek shares (Ticker: DK) have risen about 5 percent over the past three months.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Doug Leggate has cut his rating on shares of Delek US Holdings to 'underperform' from 'neutral.' Like so many of its peers, Delek is facing an uncertain couple of quarters ahead as the market adjusts to ever lower crude oil prices. The company's shares (Ticker: DK) are down 16 percent over the past three months but have found firmer footing over the past week and change.
Paul Trussell at Deutsche Bank says Dollar General is one of his best ideas for 2015 even though the company's shares (Ticker: DG) are trading just pennies below their all-time high of $70.50. Trussell has lifted his price target for the discount retail giant to $86 from $73 and says it will benefit from lower gas prices and the growth of its square footage, among others.
At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, analyst Paul Leggate is heading in the opposite direction with his call on Delek US Holdings. On Monday, he cut his rating for the Brentwood-based oil refiner and marketer to 'underperform' from 'neutral' and slashed his price target to $24 from $34. Leggate says Delek, which is changing hands this morning around $26 (Ticker: DK), is facing more competition from other oil infrastructure players and could soon see less crude flowing to its facilities because of the big drop in global oil prices.
The board of Delek US Holdings has declared the company's 12th special dividend in three years. The payout will again be 10 cents per share and will go to shareholders of record Jan. 6. In a statement, Delek Chairman, President and CEO Uzi Yemin said the company's board remains “focused on using our financial flexibility to invest in our business to position it for long term success, while allocating capital to return cash to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.” Delek shares (Ticker: DK) fell 4 percent on Friday to close at $29.14. They're off 6 percent over the past six months.
Analyst Neil Mehta at Goldman Sachs says oil refiners can stand out from other energy companies in the coming months because of their ability to grow their cash flows. One of the promising companies in the sector is Delek US Holdings, which Mehta rates a 'buy.' On average, Mehta says, Brentwood-based Delek — which is down 10 percent (Ticker: DK) over the past three months — and many of its peers can climb 25 percent by mid-year 2015.
Miller + Tabak analyst Stephen Anderson says it's time to back out of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Shares of the Lebanon-based restaurant and retail chain (Ticker: CBRL) are up more than 20 percent to more than $120 since Anderson's late-January call to buy them. On Wednesday, Anderson downgraded Cracker Barrel to 'hold' on valuation concerns but raised his target a bit to $121.
Sam Margolin at Cowen & Co. is upbeat about the prospects for refining stocks because operators are growing profits and unlocking value from their logistics assets. Among the companies he sees doing well is Brentwood-based Delek US Holdings (Ticker: DK), which he expects to climb to $43 from its current level of $31 and change.
Avondale Partners analyst Paula Torch has raised her price target on AAC Holdings to $31 from $28 and reiterated her 'market outperform' rating for the company, which went public last month. Citing a well-executed third quarter, Torch said she expects the company to trade at a higher multiple. Shares of AAC (Ticker: AAC) were up 9 percent Friday afternoon to $25.46, up from $15 at the company's initial public offering.
Howard Weil analyst Blake Fernandez has cut his price target on Delek US Holdings to $38 from $44. Fernandez also removed Delek's 'focus stock' rating, although he maintained his 'sector outperform' recommendation. Shares of Delek (Ticker: DK) were down slightly Friday afternoon to $31.83. Year to date, they're down 7 percent.
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