Driven by a strong momentum, shares of
HCA Holdings Inc.
) hit an all-time 52-week high of $57.77 on Jun 20. Notably, this
leading for-profit hospital operator's shares have surged 22.1%
since the beginning of 2014 and 12.1% after the company reported
first-quarter results at the end of April.
Notably, HCA Holdings has delivered positive earnings surprises
in 2 of the last 4 quarters, with an average beat of 3.1%. The
momentum of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has come on the back of
the company's improved outlook.
Friday's closing price represented a robust one-year return of
about 53.9% against a return of 23.3% clocked by the S&P 500
index. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months
stands at approximately 2,836.5K.
On Apr 29, HCA Holdings reported first-quarter 2014 earnings per
share of 84 cents. Although it was a penny short of the Zacks
Consensus Estimate, earnings were higher than the year-ago figure
Despite higher operating and interest expenses, a 4.6%
year-over-year jump in net revenue supported earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) growth of
4.8% during the quarter. The company's improved asset
position was partially offset by higher debt and lower operating
Although higher leverage and cash flow position raises caution,
HCA Holdings' same facility revenues and admissions remain stable.
Moreover, there was minimal adverse effect of the recent healthcare
reform in the U.S. (Affordable Care Act implemented in Apr 2014).
Growth of hospital admissions should be driven by increased
insurance coverage. These positives instill confidence in investors
about the company's growth prospects.
Meanwhile, some better-ranked healthcare stocks include
Horace Mann Educators Corp.
WellCare Health Plans Inc.
Select Medical Holdings Corp.
), all of which sporta Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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WELLCARE HEALTH (WCG): Free Stock Analysis
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HCA HOLDINGS (HCA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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