Shares of LifePoint Hospitals Inc. (NASDAQ:LPNT) dropped 1.8% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as low as $65.49 and last traded at $65.51, with a volume of 125,589 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $66.71.

LPNT has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of LifePoint Hospitals in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their target price on shares of LifePoint Hospitals from $75.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 6th. Sterne Agee CRT restated a “buy” rating on shares of LifePoint Hospitals in a report on Monday, May 16th. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating on shares of LifePoint Hospitals in a report on Monday, May 16th. Finally, Leerink Swann restated a “hold” rating on shares of LifePoint Hospitals in a report on Monday, May 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. LifePoint Hospitals has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $75.78.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $66.57 and its 200 day moving average price is $67.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.85 billion and a P/E ratio of 18.20.

LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ:LPNT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 29th. The company reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.01. The business earned $1.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.57 billion. LifePoint Hospitals’s revenue for the quarter was up 25.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.00 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that LifePoint Hospitals Inc. will post $3.74 EPS for the current year.

In other LifePoint Hospitals news, Director John E. D. D S. Maupin, Jr. sold 3,800 shares of LifePoint Hospitals stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.32, for a total value of $255,816.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 22,813 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,535,771.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

Several institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the stock. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in LifePoint Hospitals by 123.0% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 24,386 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,790,000 after buying an additional 13,453 shares during the period. BOKF NA boosted its position in LifePoint Hospitals by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. BOKF NA now owns 27,886 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,047,000 after buying an additional 1,121 shares during the period. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in LifePoint Hospitals by 51.4% in the fourth quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 28,627 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,101,000 after buying an additional 9,720 shares during the period. Deere & Co. boosted its position in LifePoint Hospitals by 15.5% in the fourth quarter. Deere & Co. now owns 29,316 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,152,000 after buying an additional 3,940 shares during the period. Finally, Shell Asset Management Co. acquired a new position in LifePoint Hospitals during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,293,000.

LifePoint Health, Inc, formerly LifePoint Hospitals, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute facilities. The Company operates through healthcare services segment. The Company operates over 70 hospital campuses in over 20 states, having a total of over 8,240 licensed beds.

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