Two more analysts following Community Health Systems have reiterated their 'hold' ratings on the company's shares after its first-quarter earnings report. But Joe France at Cantor Fitzgerald has lifted his target to $42 from $35 and Barclays Capital's Josh Raskin now sees the stock climbing to $50 rather than $48. CHS (Ticker: CYH) ended Wednesday trading at $44.72.
Two of Nashville's publicly traded hospital chains got thumbs up from analysts Tuesday. Ralph Giacobbe at Credit Suisse said Community Health Systems' cost controls will serve it well in the coming quarter and hiked his price target to $55. Over at Deutsche, Darren Lehrich lifted his price target to $51 from $48. CHS shares (Ticker: CYH) closed Tuesday trading up about 1 percent at $45.57 after the company reported its Q1 numbers late Monday.
LifePoint Hospitals also got a little more love in the wake of its profit report late last week. Joe France at Cantor Fitzgerald hiked his price target to $45 from $40, but maintained his 'hold' rating. LifePoint's stock (Ticker: LPNT) ended Tuesday at $48 on the nose.
Shares of Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) are up more than 3 percent to about $13.70 in Tuesday afternoon trading, a sign that investors are buying into the company's promise that the second half will deliver some serious profit growth. That has taken them to their highest level since Aug. 1, 2011.
On a completely unrelated note, Healthways officials this morning put out a press release pointing to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that provided new — and quantifiable — links between people's well-being and their workplace productivity. A quarter of the more than 19,000 people in that study were able to lower their physical health risks and improve their productivity. The average gain to their employer: $468 per year.
Analyst Kevin Campbell at Avondale Partners says a number of factors are aligning in a positive way for LifePoint Hospitals, which reported its first-quarter earnings last week. Between cost controls, M&A opportunities, IT incentive payments and a decent outlook for the pricing of health insurance exchanges, Campbell reiterated his 'market outperform' rating and raised his price target to $56 from $54.
Credit Suisse analyst Ralph Giacobbe has bumped his target to $48 for similar reasons. And Giacobbe peers Kevin Fishbeck at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and A.J. Rice at UBS have both bumped LifePoint to 'buy' from 'neutral.'
Shares of LifePoint (Ticker: LPNT) were up more than 6 percent in mid-day trading to about $48.30.
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%
Analyst Thomas Carroll at Stifel Nicolaus on Friday raised his price target for shares of Healthways to $19 from $13 after the Franklin-based provider of wellness programs reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss. Healthways shares (Ticker: HWAY) popped big Friday, regaining the ground they had lost over the previous six weeks. To get to Carroll's new target — which is the highest on the Street — the shares would have to return to late-2009 levels.
Analyst Paul Sankey at Deutsche Bank has slashed his price target for shares of Delek US Holdings and several other refining stocks, saying the industry's fundamentals are no longer as positive. Sankey now sees Delek — which has run from $15 to $34 in the past year — climbing to $38 instead of $48. In his note, he said counting on exports to pick up the slack from weaker demand is a risky move.
Investors didn't take long Tuesday to shake off the first-quarter earnings warning delivered late Monday by HCA Holdings executives. After dipping 3 percent in pre-market action and opening down about that much, the stock of Nashville's largest company (Ticker: HCA) broke back into the black after 90 minutes and rose steadily after that. That has pushed the company's market value back near $17 billion.
Standard & Poor's has hiked its rating of Dollar General's debt to BBB- after the discount retailer overhauled its debt profile. Analyst Ana Lai said Dollar General is poised to maintain its lead among deep discounters even though its profit growth slows as it builds out its store network. (Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling also has said the top line and market share will trump margins for now.) Shares of Dollar General (Ticker: DG) are up 14 percent year to date.
The analysts at Cowen & Co. says Delek US Holdings remains an attractive long-term play on the rise of oil exploration in the central United States. They last week raised their price target for the Brentwood-based company to $42 from $30. Delek shares (Ticker: DK) closed Friday at $37.88 and are up almost 50 percent so far this year.