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Shares of LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ:LPNT) were the target of a large drop in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,687,208 shares, a drop of 20.9% from the July 15th total of 2,133,265 shares, AR Network reports. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 733,048 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.3 days. Currently, 3.8% of the company’s stock are sold short.

A number of research firms have recently commented on LPNT. Analysts at Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of LifePoint Hospitals in a research note on Monday, July 28th. They now have a $81.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $64.00. Separately, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of LifePoint Hospitals from $65.00 to $76.00 in a research note on Monday, July 28th. Finally, analysts at Barclays raised their price target on shares of LifePoint Hospitals from $59.00 to $69.00 in a research note on Monday, July 28th. They now have an “underweight” rating on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. LifePoint Hospitals presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.21.

Shares of LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ:LPNT) opened at 74.21 on Friday. LifePoint Hospitals has a one year low of $43.97 and a one year high of $76.30. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $66.95 and its 200-day moving average is $58.80. The company has a market cap of $3.350 billion and a P/E ratio of 24.20.

LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ:LPNT) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 25th. The company reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $1.05 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.01 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.65 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 15.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that LifePoint Hospitals will post $3.09 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

LifePoint Hospitals, Inc (NASDAQ:LPNT), through its subsidiaries, operates general acute care hospitals in non-urban communities in the United States.

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