Universal Health Services (UHS) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Universal Health is exposed to integration risks due to several buyouts and rising expenses over the years. Expenses have been escalating since 2013, which weigh on the company’s margins. Rising amount of debt also remains a key concern. Shares of the company have underperformed its industry in the past year. However, it’s top-line has been growing since 2013, driven by robust inorganic growth and a strong performance from both its segments — Acute Care and Behavioral Health. Acquisitions have also played an instrumental role in building Universal Health’s growth trajectory. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on UHS. UBS Group initiated coverage on Universal Health Services in a research report on Thursday, November 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $156.00 target price for the company. Leerink Swann decreased their target price on Universal Health Services from $140.00 to $135.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Citigroup decreased their target price on Universal Health Services from $145.00 to $140.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Bank of America raised Universal Health Services from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $128.00 to $155.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. Finally, Barclays reduced their price objective on Universal Health Services from $135.00 to $130.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Universal Health Services currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $137.31.



Universal Health Services stock traded down $0.45 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $125.22. 10,397 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 876,201. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.62, a PEG ratio of 1.21 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a quick ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68. Universal Health Services has a 12 month low of $109.37 and a 12 month high of $139.63.

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The health services provider reported $2.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.01 by $0.22. The firm had revenue of $2.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.68 billion. Universal Health Services had a return on equity of 16.33% and a net margin of 7.89%. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Universal Health Services will post 9.49 earnings per share for the current year.

Universal Health Services declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Monday, December 17th that permits the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the health services provider to purchase up to 4.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of UHS. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd raised its stake in Universal Health Services by 58.1% during the second quarter. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd now owns 1,175 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $131,000 after acquiring an additional 432 shares in the last quarter. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. raised its stake in Universal Health Services by 4.4% during the third quarter. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. now owns 10,409 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $1,331,000 after acquiring an additional 443 shares in the last quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group raised its stake in Universal Health Services by 116.6% during the second quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 1,068 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $119,000 after acquiring an additional 575 shares in the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co raised its stake in Universal Health Services by 35.6% during the third quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 2,230 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $285,000 after acquiring an additional 585 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IFM Investors Pty Ltd raised its stake in Universal Health Services by 14.7% during the third quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 4,754 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $608,000 after acquiring an additional 610 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.46% of the company’s stock.

About Universal Health Services

Universal Health Services, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates acute care hospitals, outpatient facilities, and behavioral health care facilities. The company operates through Acute Care Hospital Services, Behavioral Health Care Services, and Other segments. Its hospital offer general and specialty surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, emergency room care, radiology, oncology, diagnostic care, coronary care, pediatric services, pharmacy services, and/or behavioral health services.

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