Air Methods Corp (NASDAQ: AIRM) and HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) are both healthcare companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Air Methods Corp and HCA Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Air Methods Corp 6.67% 14.18% 4.43%
HCA Holdings 6.13% -47.16% 7.23%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Air Methods Corp and HCA Holdings’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Air Methods Corp N/A N/A N/A $2.59 N/A
HCA Holdings $41.49 billion 0.67 $2.89 billion $7.03 11.24

HCA Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than Air Methods Corp. Air Methods Corp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than HCA Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Air Methods Corp and HCA Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Air Methods Corp 0 3 1 0 2.25
HCA Holdings 0 5 16 0 2.76

Air Methods Corp currently has a consensus target price of $43.00, suggesting a potential upside of Infinity. HCA Holdings has a consensus target price of $89.60, suggesting a potential upside of 13.42%. Given Air Methods Corp’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Air Methods Corp is more favorable than HCA Holdings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

75.2% of HCA Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 9.0% of Air Methods Corp shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of HCA Holdings shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

HCA Holdings beats Air Methods Corp on 6 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Air Methods Corp

Air Methods Corporation is engaged in providing air medical emergency transport services and systems throughout the United States. The Company’s segments include Air Medical Services (AMS), Tourism and United Rotorcraft (UR) Division. As of December 31, 2016, its AMS Division provided air medical transportation services in 41 states to the general population as an independent service (also called community-based services) and to hospitals or other institutions under exclusive operating agreements (also called hospital-based services). It transports persons requiring intensive medical care from either the scene of an accident or general care hospitals to skilled trauma centers or tertiary care centers. As of December 31, 2016, its Air Medical Services Division operated 394 helicopters and 31 fixed wing aircrafts under both Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and Visual Flight Rules (VFR). As of December 31, 2016, its Tourism Division operated 63 helicopters and two fixed wing aircrafts.

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. As of December 31, 2016, the American Group included 80 hospitals, which were located in Colorado, northern Georgia, Kansas, southern Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated six hospitals in England. The Company owns, manages or operates hospitals, freestanding surgery centers and freestanding emergency care facilities, walk-in clinics, diagnostic and imaging centers, among others.

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