HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) Upgraded to Strong-Buy by StockNews.com

StockNews.com upgraded shares of HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCAFree Report) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report published on Wednesday.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on HCA. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an overweight rating and issued a $315.00 price target on shares of HCA Healthcare in a report on Friday, January 19th. Mizuho dropped their price objective on shares of HCA Healthcare from $325.00 to $275.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. TheStreet downgraded shares of HCA Healthcare from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. The Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of HCA Healthcare from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $271.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, December 11th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their target price on shares of HCA Healthcare from $313.00 to $265.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus target price of $304.26.

View Our Latest Stock Analysis on HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare Stock Up 0.1 %

HCA opened at $307.28 on Wednesday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $277.21 and a 200 day moving average of $262.70. The company has a market cap of $82.25 billion, a PE ratio of 16.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 1.65. HCA Healthcare has a 12 month low of $215.96 and a 12 month high of $314.82. The company has a current ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 35.07.

HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCAGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The company reported $5.90 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $5.05 by $0.85. HCA Healthcare had a net margin of 8.07% and a return on equity of 996.30%. The firm had revenue of $17.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.51 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $4.64 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that HCA Healthcare will post 20.48 EPS for the current year.

HCA Healthcare announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, January 30th that allows the company to buyback $6.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to buy up to 7.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

HCA Healthcare Increases Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.86%. This is a positive change from HCA Healthcare’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. HCA Healthcare’s payout ratio is presently 12.64%.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other news, SVP Kathryn A. Torres sold 3,861 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $307.00, for a total value of $1,185,327.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 15,899 shares in the company, valued at $4,880,993. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. In other news, SVP Kathryn A. Torres sold 3,861 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $307.00, for a total value of $1,185,327.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 15,899 shares in the company, valued at $4,880,993. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Michael S. Cuffe sold 3,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $306.79, for a total transaction of $981,728.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 24,929 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,647,967.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 9,358 shares of company stock valued at $2,883,745 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Trading of HCA Healthcare

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HCA. RB Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in HCA Healthcare by 25.9% during the first 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 during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its holdings in HCA Healthcare by 18.6% during the first 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 during the last quarter. Prudential PLC purchased a new stake in shares of HCA Healthcare in the first quarter worth $1,083,000. Cetera Investment Advisers increased its stake in shares of HCA Healthcare by 1.3% in 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 stake in shares of HCA Healthcare in the first quarter worth $248,000. 62.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

HCA Healthcare Company Profile

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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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