HCA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCA) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

HCA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “HCA Healthcare’s   shares have outperformed the industry year to date. Its top-line has been growing over the past several quarters on strong volumes and improved payor and service mix. A number of acquisitions made over the past many years have helped the company gain a strong foothold in the industry. During the second quarter results the company reported earnings of  $1.77 per share which lagged estimates by 1.7% but were up 5.4% year over year. The earnings miss can be traced back to an increase in expenses, which outpaced revenue growth. The company continues to suffer from weak commercial business that has faced declining volumes of admissions over the last four to five quarters. Its high bad debts  and disappointing international business are the other headwinds. The company has also trimmed its 2017 guidance.”

Several other research firms have also weighed in on HCA. Argus initiated coverage on HCA Holdings in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. Bank of America Corporation lowered HCA Holdings from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $102.00 to $92.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. BidaskClub lowered HCA Holdings from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on HCA Holdings in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $90.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of HCA Holdings in a report on Monday, April 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. HCA Holdings presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $93.50.

Shares of HCA Holdings (HCA) traded up 0.11% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $78.58. The stock had a trading volume of 1,714,879 shares. The firm has a market cap of $29.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.53 and a beta of 0.67. HCA Holdings has a 1-year low of $67.00 and a 1-year high of $91.03. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $84.93 and a 200-day moving average price of $84.50.

HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.80 by $0.05. HCA Holdings had a net margin of 6.64% and a negative return on equity of 48.08%. The company had revenue of $10.73 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.76 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.66 earnings per share. HCA Holdings’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that HCA Holdings will post $7.20 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Michael S. Cuffe sold 2,150 shares of HCA Holdings stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.44, for a total transaction of $185,846.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 12,363 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,068,657.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Jana Joustra Davis sold 8,302 shares of HCA Holdings stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.02, for a total value of $705,836.04. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 36,589 shares in the company, valued at $3,110,796.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 151,424 shares of company stock worth $12,787,290. 2.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in HCA Holdings by 2,549.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,099,811 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,788,682,000 after buying an additional 19,341,168 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in HCA Holdings by 15.8% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,763,884 shares of the company’s stock worth $690,908,000 after buying an additional 1,059,925 shares during the period. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in HCA Holdings by 9,568.4% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 915,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,500,000 after buying an additional 906,130 shares during the period. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. increased its stake in HCA Holdings by 44.6% in the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 1,627,311 shares of the company’s stock worth $144,814,000 after buying an additional 501,591 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in HCA Holdings by 30.9% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,104,290 shares of the company’s stock worth $183,494,000 after buying an additional 497,072 shares during the period. 74.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About HCA Holdings

HCA Healthcare, Inc, formerly HCA Holdings, Inc, is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates hospitals and related healthcare entities. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated in two geographically organized groups, including the National and American Groups. As of December 31, 2016, the National Group included 84 hospitals, which were located in Alaska, California, Florida, southern Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, northern Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

Analyst Recommendations for HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA)

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