HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) Shares Gap Up Following Better-Than-Expected Earnings

HCA Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:HCAGet Free Report) gapped up prior to trading on Tuesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $286.73, but opened at $300.00. HCA Healthcare shares last traded at $299.56, with a volume of 322,884 shares traded.

The company reported $5.90 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $5.05 by $0.85. The company had revenue of $17.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.51 billion. HCA Healthcare had a return on equity of 2,040.32% and a net margin of 9.05%. The company’s revenue was up 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $4.64 earnings per share.

HCA Healthcare Increases Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued a $0.66 dividend. This is a boost from HCA Healthcare’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.88%. HCA Healthcare’s dividend payout ratio is presently 11.81%.

HCA Healthcare announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, January 30th that authorizes the company to repurchase $6.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 7.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research firms have issued reports on HCA. Raymond James increased their price target on HCA Healthcare from $280.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Wells Fargo & Company lowered their target price on HCA Healthcare from $267.00 to $254.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $315.00 target price on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Oppenheimer reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $315.00 price target on shares of HCA Healthcare in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Finally, Citigroup dropped their price objective on HCA Healthcare from $324.00 to $279.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, HCA Healthcare currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $298.32.

View Our Latest Analysis on HCA Healthcare

Institutional Investors Weigh In On HCA Healthcare

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. RB Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in HCA Healthcare by 25.9% during the 1st quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 2,432 shares of the company’s stock valued at $610,000 after buying an additional 501 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. grew its holdings in HCA Healthcare by 18.6% during the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 11,035 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,766,000 after buying an additional 1,730 shares in the last quarter. Prudential PLC purchased a new position in shares of HCA Healthcare during the first quarter worth about $1,083,000. Cetera Investment Advisers grew its holdings in shares of HCA Healthcare by 1.3% during the first quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 4,499 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,128,000 after purchasing an additional 56 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of HCA Healthcare during the first quarter worth about $248,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.73% of the company’s stock.

HCA Healthcare Stock Up 5.2 %

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $270.24 and a two-hundred day moving average of $261.63. The company has a market cap of $80.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.83, a P/E/G ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 103.06, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 1.15.

About HCA Healthcare

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HCA Healthcare, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides health care services in the United States. It operates general and acute care hospitals that offers 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.

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