Zacks Investment Research cut shares of HCA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “HCA Healthcare’s earnings of $1.77 per share lagged estimates by 1.7% but were up 5.4% year over year. The earnings miss can be traced back to an increase in expenses, which outpaced revenue growth. The company continues to suffer from weak commercial business that has faced declining volumes of admissions over the last four to five quarters. Its high bad debts  and disappointing international business are the other headwinds. The company has also trimmed its 2017 guidance. Its shares have returned 10.3% year to date, underperforming the industry's gain of 14%. Nevertheless, its top-line has been growing over the past several quarters on strong volumes and improved payor and service mix. A number of acquisitions made over the past many years have helped the company gain a strong foothold in the industry.”

HCA has been the topic of a number of other reports. Citigroup Inc. lowered their target price on HCA Holdings from $89.00 to $87.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Deutsche Bank AG began coverage on HCA Holdings in a research report on Tuesday, April 4th. They set a buy rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. Leerink Swann raised HCA Holdings from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and upped their target price for the stock from $92.00 to $100.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of HCA Holdings in a research report on Monday, April 17th. Finally, BidaskClub raised HCA Holdings from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $93.50.

Shares of HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) traded down 0.24% during trading on Thursday, hitting $80.25. 736,123 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a 50-day moving average of $85.18 and a 200-day moving average of $84.41. The firm has a market cap of $30.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.76 and a beta of 0.68. HCA Holdings has a 52 week low of $67.00 and a 52 week high of $91.03.

HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.80 by $0.05. HCA Holdings had a negative return on equity of 48.08% and a net margin of 6.64%. The firm had revenue of $10.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.76 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.66 earnings per share. HCA Holdings’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that HCA Holdings will post $7.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, SVP Jane D. Englebright sold 5,005 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.31, for a total transaction of $426,976.55. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 17,351 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,480,213.81. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michael S. Cuffe sold 2,150 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.44, for a total value of $185,846.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 12,363 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,068,657.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 397,424 shares of company stock valued at $33,234,810 in the last quarter. 2.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of HCA. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. increased its position in HCA Holdings by 6.6% in the second quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 384,208 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,504,000 after buying an additional 23,658 shares during the last quarter. Brave Asset Management Inc. increased its position in HCA Holdings by 55.2% in the second quarter. Brave Asset Management Inc. now owns 13,379 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,167,000 after buying an additional 4,758 shares during the last quarter. Ronald Blue & Co. LLC increased its position in HCA Holdings by 0.3% in the second quarter. Ronald Blue & Co. LLC now owns 97,455 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,498,000 after buying an additional 331 shares during the last quarter. Lee Danner & Bass Inc. increased its position in HCA Holdings by 0.5% in the second quarter. Lee Danner & Bass Inc. now owns 404,632 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,284,000 after buying an additional 1,828 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Exchange Capital Management Inc. increased its position in HCA Holdings by 1.8% in the second quarter. Exchange Capital Management Inc. now owns 71,042 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,195,000 after buying an additional 1,287 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.42% of the company’s stock.

HCA Holdings Company Profile

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.

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