Following Dollar General's second-quarter earnings report, UBS' Michael Lasser has taken a sanguine tone that is similar to that of a number of other analysts. In reiterating his 'buy' rating and $85 target for Dollar General (Ticker: DG), Lasser says CEO Todd Vasos and his team still have a number of ways to hit their profit growth goals.
From here, even if the company's algorithm rests on a longer-term comp that hovers around the 3% range, we think it can still produce mid-teens EPS growth with optionality to the upside. We would use the pullback as an opportunity.
Analyst Taposh Bari at Goldman Sachs has cut his rating on shares of Nashville-based Genesco to 'sell from 'neutral' after the company reported its first-quarter numbers. He sees the stock (Ticker: GCO), which was up about 1 percent to $67.33 Thursday afternoon, falling to $57 in the coming year.
Over at UBS, Michael Lasser says things are setting up for Dollar General to have a really good run in the coming quarters as its investments in labor and back-end operations begin to pay off. He has ticked his target for Dollar General (Ticker: DG) to $85 from $84. The stock is changing hands this afternoon at about $75.60.
Three weeks after slashing shares of Noranda Aluminum Holding to 'sell,' analysts at UBS on Friday raised the Franklin-based company back to 'neutral' — but also cut their price target to $2 from $2.75. (A month ago, it was $3.25.) Noranda (Ticker: NOR) has been taken behind the woodshed in the past few weeks, falling more than 40 percent after private-equity firm Apollo Management said it would sell its large remaining stake. The stock closed Friday at $1.76.
Getahn Ward at The Tennessean reports that UBS is close to committing to 30,000 square feet in One Franklin Park, which already has snagged some other big names. The global financial giant, which has been busy building up its downtown operations center, will install some back-office workers in Cool Springs and also open a wealth management office that could grow to 28 people. Read more here.
Analysts at UBS Securities launched coverage of Acadia Healthcare shares Wednesday with a 'buy' rating and a price target of $62. That target leaves almost 20 percent of upside for Acadia (Ticker: ACHC), which bucked the market's sour Wednesday by climbing 0.6 percent.
Local RBC Capital health care analyst Frank Morgan has hiked his price target for shares of LifePoint Hospitals waaaaaaay up to $89 from $63 following the company's blowout second-quarter earnings report. Morgan says health care reform is driving most of the good numbers but he likes the improved visibility into the company's operations and continues to rate the stock an 'outperform.' LifePoint shares (Ticker: LPNT) have climbed to $74 from $65 since its report but Morgan isn't the only one who sees them rising further. Over at UBS Securities, A.J. Rice has raised his target to $80 from $73.
UBS Securities analyst A.J. Rice says HCA's second-quarter profits won't look great at first blush — comparisons with year-ago numbers will be tough for a number of reasons — but adds that he's heartened by executives' positive tone earlier this quarter. Rice has lifted his price target for the stock of Nashville's largest company (Ticker: HCA) to $67 from $58 and is optimistic hospital operators will say they're benefiting nicely from health insurance reform. HCA shares fell almost 2 percent Tuesday to $54.52 but are up about 15 percent year to date.
There are far fewer reasons to be optimistic for Louisiana-Pacific investors these days, judging by the moves of analysts at Dundee Securities and RBC Capital Markets. At the first firm, Steve Atkinson on Tuesday launched coverage of the construction materials manufacturer with a 'sell' rating and $13 price target, which is 14 percent below where LP shares (Ticker: LPX) began trading yesterday. Atkinson's main reason is a price war that will hurt margins and has him projecting a Q2 loss that stands in sharp contrast to the consensus. At RBC, Paul Quinn has cut his rating to 'sector perform' from 'outperform' and sees LP shares climbing back to only $16 in the coming quarters.
Hospital stocks are finishing the week on a high note thanks to Medicaid expansion chatter in Virginia and Pennsylvania, says UBS analyst A.J. Rice. The firm says Community Health Systems has more than 11 percent exposure in Pennsylvania and LifePoint Hospitals gets nearly 13 percent of its revenues in Virginia.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made clear that expanding Medicaid is a top priority, but state Republicans are pushing back, MSNBC reports.
The governor insists he won't approve a budget without Medicaid expansion; Republicans insist they won't approve a budget with Medicaid expansion. It's pushed McAuliffe to try to get creative, though the details of his plan remain elusive.
Pennsylvania's shot at expansion seems a bit more likely, with three Republican House members joining with Democrats this week to vote in favor of expanding Medicaid. However, Gov. Tom Corbett does not support expansion, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, and has submitted a "Healthy PA" plan to the federal government in its stead.
Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) are up 8 percent this week to $45.12. Shares of LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) are up 5 percent this week to $64.16.
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