LifePoint Health, Inc. (LPNT) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of LifePoint Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPNT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “LifePoint Health’s stock has underperformed the industry year to date. Its focus on strategic growth through acquisition and integration of well-positioned hospitals in the growing areas of the U.S. have contributed to its top line growth. The company has also been divesting non-core operations to focus on core growth areas. Its sufficient cash enables the company to make acquisitions and buyback shares. Following second-quarter results, the company trimmed its 2017 guidance on a challenging volume environment and weak revenue growth. The company is faced with increasing expenses which has outpaced revenue growth thereby squeezing operating margins. High bad debt is another concern. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.9% downward over the last 60 days.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of LifePoint Health from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. TheStreet lowered shares of LifePoint Health from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. BidaskClub lowered shares of LifePoint Health from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of LifePoint Health in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Leerink Swann raised shares of LifePoint Health from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and increased their price objective for the company from $73.00 to $74.00 in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. LifePoint Health currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $66.18.

Shares of LifePoint Health (NASDAQ:LPNT) opened at 57.20 on Monday. LifePoint Health has a 12 month low of $50.60 and a 12 month high of $70.95. The company has a market capitalization of $2.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.81 and a beta of 0.85. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $57.60 and its 200 day moving average is $62.03.

LifePoint Health (NASDAQ:LPNT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The company reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by $0.06. LifePoint Health had a net margin of 2.61% and a return on equity of 7.40%. The business had revenue of $1.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.64 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.69 EPS. The company’s revenue was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that LifePoint Health will post $4.06 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, Chairman William F. Carpenter III sold 17,653 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.06, for a total value of $1,148,504.18. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 439,841 shares in the company, valued at $28,616,055.46. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 7.28% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new stake in LifePoint Health in the second quarter worth $872,000. WINTON GROUP Ltd lifted its position in LifePoint Health by 138.4% in the second quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 93,705 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,292,000 after buying an additional 54,400 shares during the last quarter. Dean Capital Management lifted its position in LifePoint Health by 68.0% in the second quarter. Dean Capital Management now owns 67,143 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,508,000 after buying an additional 27,180 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. lifted its position in LifePoint Health by 2.6% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 12,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $811,000 after buying an additional 305 shares during the last quarter. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in LifePoint Health by 2.8% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 59,357 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,986,000 after buying an additional 1,629 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 99.53% of the company’s stock.

About LifePoint Health

LifePoint Health, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute facilities. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated 72 hospital campuses in 22 states, having a total of 9,424 licensed beds. It offers a range of general and specialized healthcare services to patients through a network of hospitals and outpatient facilities.

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