Universal Health Services Inc. (NYSE:UHS)’s share price gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $133.01, but opened at $133.31. Universal Health Services shares last traded at $134.14, with a volume of 247,781 shares.

A number of research firms have recently commented on UHS. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Universal Health Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 2nd. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Saturday, April 30th. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price objective (up from $140.00) on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Thursday, April 28th. Wells Fargo & Co. upgraded Universal Health Services from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 29th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Monday, May 16th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $144.29.

The company has a 50-day moving average of $134.46 and a 200 day moving average of $122.71. The firm has a market cap of $13.31 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.72.

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, April 27th. The company reported $1.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.11. The firm earned $2.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.41 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.78 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Universal Health Services Inc. will post $7.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 1st were paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 27th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.29%.

In related news, Director Anthony Pantaleoni sold 6,995 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.51, for a total value of $933,902.45. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 3,750 shares in the company, valued at approximately $500,662.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John H. Herrell sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.09, for a total transaction of $816,540.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 18,017 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,451,933.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors recently modified their holdings of UHS. Marshall Wace LLP increased its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 23.1% in the fourth quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 277,096 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,110,000 after buying an additional 52,038 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 251,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,014,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares during the period. Comerica Bank increased its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 6.0% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 75,650 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,502,000 after buying an additional 4,296 shares during the period. TD Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 141,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,951,000 after buying an additional 1,400 shares during the period. Finally, Olstein Capital Management L.P. increased its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 55.3% in the fourth quarter. Olstein Capital Management L.P. now owns 32,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,824,000 after buying an additional 11,400 shares during the period.

Universal Health Services, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in owning and operating acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, surgical hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and radiation oncology centers. Its segment is acute care hospital services and behavioral healthcare services.

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