Hospital Co. of America (HCA) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hospital Co. of America (NYSE:HCA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning. They currently have $108.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “HCA Healthcare’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Its top line has been growing over the past several quarters on strong volumes and improved payor and service mix. A number of acquisitions have helped the company gain a strong foothold in the industry. The company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings being revised upward in the last 90 days. However, it continues to suffer from weak commercial business that has faced declining volumes of admissions over the last few quarters. High level of bad debts and disappointing international business are other headwinds.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on HCA. Citigroup upgraded Hospital Co. of America from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Hospital Co. of America in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They set a neutral rating on the stock. William Blair reiterated a hold rating on shares of Hospital Co. of America in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Hospital Co. of America from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and set a $85.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated an outperform rating and set a $25.00 price target on shares of Hospital Co. of America in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $105.95.



Shares of NYSE HCA opened at $96.19 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.58, a quick ratio of 1.36 and a current ratio of 1.62. The firm has a market capitalization of $33,916.17, a P/E ratio of 14.21, a P/E/G ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 0.47. Hospital Co. of America has a 52-week low of $71.18 and a 52-week high of $106.84.

Hospital Co. of America (NYSE:HCA) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The company reported $2.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.25. Hospital Co. of America had a negative return on equity of 49.49% and a net margin of 4.89%. The business had revenue of $11.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.19 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.80 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Hospital Co. of America will post 8.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 30th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st were given a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.46%. Hospital Co. of America’s payout ratio is 21.24%.

In related news, insider Charles J. Hall sold 49,882 shares of Hospital Co. of America stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.29, for a total transaction of $5,052,547.78. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 62,048 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,284,841.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Charles J. Hall sold 119,637 shares of Hospital Co. of America stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.14, for a total value of $11,980,449.18. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 161,181 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,140,665.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 479,918 shares of company stock valued at $48,186,093. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Hospital Co. of America by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,002,879 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,932,733,000 after buying an additional 433,283 shares during the last quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd lifted its position in shares of Hospital Co. of America by 39.1% in the fourth quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 16,660,349 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,463,445,000 after buying an additional 4,681,672 shares during the last quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD lifted its position in shares of Hospital Co. of America by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 12,022,516 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,056,058,000 after buying an additional 887,361 shares during the last quarter. Lyrical Asset Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Hospital Co. of America in the fourth quarter worth about $324,051,000. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its position in shares of Hospital Co. of America by 6.3% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,639,381 shares of the company’s stock worth $266,225,000 after buying an additional 216,000 shares during the last quarter. 73.50% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Hospital Co. of America Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Hospital Co. of America (NYSE:HCA)

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