HCA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCA) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of HCA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday, October 17th.

According to Zacks, “HCA Healthcare’s shares have lost value in six months' time. 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 which bothers us. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2% downward over the last 60 days. 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. “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of HCA Holdings from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Argus initiated coverage on shares of HCA Holdings in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. They set a buy rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. KeyCorp restated a buy rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of HCA Holdings in a report on Thursday, September 7th. BidaskClub cut shares of HCA Holdings from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation cut shares of HCA Holdings from a buy rating to a neutral rating and dropped their target price for the company from $102.00 to $92.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $89.95.

Shares of HCA Holdings (HCA) traded up $0.34 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $76.77. 1,276,839 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,385,306. The firm has a market capitalization of $27,610.31, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.60, a P/E/G ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.46, a current ratio of 1.68 and a quick ratio of 1.41. HCA Holdings has a 1 year low of $67.00 and a 1 year high of $91.03.

HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $1.21 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21. HCA Holdings had a net margin of 6.13% and a negative return on equity of 47.16%. The company had revenue of $10.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.70 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.45 earnings per share. HCA Holdings’s revenue was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that HCA Holdings will post 6.55 earnings per share for the current year.

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HCA Holdings declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, October 31st that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other HCA Holdings news, insider Michael S. Cuffe sold 2,150 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.87, for a total transaction of $171,720.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders have sold 6,450 shares of company stock worth $511,163 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Strs Ohio lifted its stake in HCA Holdings by 12.2% in the third quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,075,778 shares of the company’s stock worth $85,621,000 after acquiring an additional 117,000 shares during the period. Gotham Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in HCA Holdings by 178.5% in the first quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 325,689 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,983,000 after acquiring an additional 208,745 shares during the period. Accident Compensation Corp lifted its stake in HCA Holdings by 4.8% in the second quarter. Accident Compensation Corp now owns 43,793 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,819,000 after acquiring an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Delta Lloyd Asset Management N.V. purchased a new stake in HCA Holdings in the second quarter worth about $3,823,000. Finally, OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. lifted its stake in HCA Holdings by 33.4% in the first quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 7,470 shares of the company’s stock worth $665,000 after acquiring an additional 1,870 shares during the period. 75.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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