HCA Healthcare (HCA) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Monday. The firm currently has a $151.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 11.23% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “HCA Healthcare’s shares have outperformed its industry’s gain in a year’s time.  Its top line has been growing over the last several quarters on higher admissions as well as improved payor and service mix. A number of acquisitions helped the company gain a strong foothold in the industry, fueling its inorganic growth. The company has also raised its guidance from its previous projections. A strong balance sheet and free cash flow are a couple of other positives for the company. The company's third quarter earnings of $2.16 per share, surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.9%, led by higher same facility admissions. However, its high operating expenses continue to weigh on the margins. The company would continue to incur debts for future acquisitions, which is a concern.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Mizuho set a $150.00 price objective on shares of HCA Healthcare and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of HCA Healthcare from $145.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. Argus upped their target price on shares of HCA Healthcare to $150.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 7th. Jefferies Financial Group upped their target price on shares of HCA Healthcare to $155.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Citigroup upped their target price on shares of HCA Healthcare from $136.00 to $156.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. HCA Healthcare has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $144.15.

NYSE:HCA traded up $0.83 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $135.76. 49,040 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,113,200. The stock has a market capitalization of $46.44 billion, a PE ratio of 20.61, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.48. HCA Healthcare has a twelve month low of $76.34 and a twelve month high of $144.96.

HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 30th. The company reported $2.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.93 by $0.23. The company had revenue of $11.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.29 billion. HCA Healthcare had a net margin of 6.82% and a negative return on equity of 73.71%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.13 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that HCA Healthcare will post 9.34 earnings per share for the current year.

In other HCA Healthcare news, insider Michael S. Cuffe sold 4,943 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.90, for a total transaction of $701,411.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 33,240 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,716,756. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Deborah M. Reiner sold 723 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.06, for a total transaction of $97,648.38. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 6,184 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $835,211.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 16,763 shares of company stock valued at $2,346,147. 2.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Millennium Management LLC boosted its stake in HCA Healthcare by 32.3% during the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,698,536 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,270,000 after buying an additional 414,877 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 54.9% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,488,273 shares of the company’s stock worth $563,097,000 after purchasing an additional 1,944,961 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC lifted its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 7.5% during the third quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 224,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,248,000 after purchasing an additional 15,680 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of HCA Healthcare by 92.5% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 310,971 shares of the company’s stock worth $43,172,000 after purchasing an additional 149,465 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Highstreet Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of HCA Healthcare during the second quarter worth about $707,000. 71.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides health care services. The company operates general, acute care hospitals that offer medical and surgical services, including inpatient care, intensive care, cardiac care, diagnostic, and emergency services; and outpatient services, such as outpatient surgery, laboratory, radiology, respiratory therapy, cardiology, and physical therapy services.

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