Hospital Co. of America (NYSE:HCA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “HCA Healthcare’s continues to suffer from weak commercial business that has faced declining volumes of admissions over the last few quarters. High level of bad debts and disappointing international business are other headwinds. The company is expected to report first quarter results in May first week. An unfavorable Zacks Rank #4 and an Earnings ESP of -2.40% makes earnings surprise prediction difficult. Nonetheless, HCA Healthcare’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Its top line has been growing over the past several quarters on strong volumes and improved payor and service mix. A number of acquisitions have helped the company gain a strong foothold in the industry.”

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HCA has been the subject of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $25.00 target price on shares of Hospital Co. of America in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. Mizuho initiated coverage on Hospital Co. of America in a research report on Friday, March 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $115.00 target price for the company. Robert W. Baird set a $104.00 target price on Hospital Co. of America and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Morgan Stanley cut Hospital Co. of America from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $85.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 target price on shares of Hospital Co. of America in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $105.95.

HCA stock traded up $0.15 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $97.59. The stock had a trading volume of 1,157,129 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,144,607. The stock has a market cap of $33,688.73, a P/E ratio of 14.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.96 and a beta of 0.47. Hospital Co. of America has a 52 week low of $71.18 and a 52 week high of $106.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.58, a current ratio of 1.62 and a quick ratio of 1.36.

Hospital Co. of America (NYSE:HCA) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The company reported $2.12 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.25. The firm had revenue of $11.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.19 billion. Hospital Co. of America had a negative return on equity of 49.49% and a net margin of 4.89%. Hospital Co. of America’s quarterly revenue was up 8.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.80 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Hospital Co. of America will post 8.71 EPS for the current year.

In other Hospital Co. of America news, SVP Joseph A. Sowell III sold 22,025 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.86, for a total transaction of $2,243,466.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,411 shares in the company, valued at $2,792,084.46. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Joseph A. Sowell III sold 58,175 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.00, for a total value of $5,526,625.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 40,536 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,850,920. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 479,918 shares of company stock valued at $48,186,093 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cryder Capital Partners LLP increased its stake in shares of Hospital Co. of America by 37.6% in the fourth quarter. Cryder Capital Partners LLP now owns 507,406 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,571,000 after buying an additional 138,780 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Hospital Co. of America by 50.3% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 523,063 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,630,000 after buying an additional 175,158 shares in the last quarter. Leucadia National Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Hospital Co. of America in the fourth quarter valued at $512,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its stake in shares of Hospital Co. of America by 1,448.7% in the fourth quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 10,206 shares of the company’s stock valued at $897,000 after buying an additional 9,547 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ascend Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Hospital Co. of America in the fourth quarter valued at $14,087,000. Institutional investors own 73.49% of the company’s stock.

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About Hospital Co. of America

HCA Healthcare, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides health care services. The company operates general, acute care hospitals that offer medical and surgical services, including inpatient care, intensive care, cardiac care, diagnostic, and emergency services; and outpatient services, such as outpatient surgery, laboratory, radiology, respiratory therapy, cardiology, and physical therapy services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hospital Co. of America (NYSE:HCA)

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