Shares of HealthStream are up about 50 percent so far in 2013 and more than 600 percent in the past three years but Northland Capital Markets analyst Scott Berg has some very simple advice in launching coverage of the downtown-based company: Buy and hold.
We believe HealthStream uniquely benefits from the confluence of two significant mega-trends: strong secular adoption rates within the Talent Management Enterprise Software sub-sector but also an increasingly more regulated environment requiring its products’ end users to evaluate competencies and train on a more frequent basis. We believe these create a positive multi-year risk/reward scenario for investors.
Berg's price target for HealthStream is $43, more than 20 percent higher than where it closed Tuesday. Spurred on by his recommendation, investors have pushed up HealthStream (Ticker: HSTM) by about 7 percent today, taking the company's market value above the $1 billion mark for the first time ever.
East Nashville-based software company LiveSchool has made it through to the next round of The Wall Street Journal's Startup of the Year competition. LiveSchool, which raised more than $1.6 million early this year, gives teachers the ability to track student behavior in real time via a software app. After starting as part of a pool of more than 500 applicants, the company now is competing with just nine others from around the country.
Check out a Journal video profiling a recent company event here.
Local entrepreneur Mike Shmerling has been active in the market in the past week in his role as a board member of HealthStream. First, he exercised 15,000 options that would have expired in 2018 last Friday. Then he turned around and unloaded more than 37,000 shares — some 30 percent of his total HealthStream holdings — on Tuesday and Wednesday. His profits on the transactions topped $1.1 million.
Do you see value in shares of Ryman Hospitality Properties (Ticker: RHP), which are down 10 percent year to date? The trustee of the rabbi trust handling some of Chairman and CEO Colin Reed's supplemental retirement payments does and last week spent $300,000 on the hotel real estate investment trust's shares.
Headed in the other direction is HealthStream co-founder and director Jeff McLaren, who on Monday cashed in a bunch of stock options with an exercise price of less than $5 and sold them for more than $33. His profit on the transactions ran to more than $430,000. HealthStream shares (Ticker: HSTM) are up more than 35 percent so far in 2013.
The VitalSource e-textbook platform owned by Ingram Content Group has been picked by a recently launched venture that aims to bring education technology to the many parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Panworld Education was launched earlier this summer by the Pan World General Trading conglomerate.
The education marketplace in the Middle East is expanding rapidly, with industry sources projecting its worth to be approximately $61 billion by 2015, and the school-age population in the MENA region is predicted to grow to 53.6 million students in 2015. Recently, Saudi Arabia announced a 13 percent increase in its education budget, allocating $54 billion towards higher education and workforce training.
Avondale Partners analyst Richard Close has lifted his price target for shares of HealthStream to $33.50 from $31 after the education and compliance products provider reported its Q2 profits. While noting that the company's conference call didn't provide "significantly revelatory information," Close likes the look of HealthStream's growth pipeline and has raised his enterprise value/sales valuation multiple to 5.5x from 5x. In early Thursday trading, HealthStream shares (Ticker: HSTM) were down about 1 percent to around $32.10.
Down the hall at Avondale, Kevin Campbell says HCA's preview of second-quarter results surprised him by showing same-facility revenue growth of 2.9 percent when he had expected a slight drop. Campbell's models aren't assuming that trend continues, but he has hiked his EPS estimates for 2013 to $3.19 from $3.05. He rates HCA shares (Ticker: HCA) at 'market outperform' and expects it to climb to $47 from its current level of $38 and change.
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