LifePoint Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPNT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “LifePoint Health is well poised to grow over the long term given a number of acquisitions made over the past few years that gives it a strong foothold in the industry. A number of divestures made in recent years have also helped the company focus on growth areas. Its strong balance sheet and consistent increase in operating cash flow enables it to use funds for share buybacks and acquisitions. Its shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Medical Hospital industry, year to date. A number of headwinds like political uncertainty created by Donald Trump’s decision of ACA repeal, rising level of bad debts and escalating expenses likely have resulted in the underperformance of the shares.”

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on LPNT. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective on shares of LifePoint Health in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. BidaskClub upgraded LifePoint Health from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Leerink Swann upgraded LifePoint Health from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $73.00 to $74.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Morgan Stanley began coverage on LifePoint Health in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $65.00 target price for the company. Finally, TheStreet upgraded LifePoint Health from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Monday, March 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. LifePoint Health presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.23.

LifePoint Health (NASDAQ:LPNT) traded down 1.22% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $64.65. 69,945 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $2.61 billion, a PE ratio of 17.06 and a beta of 0.88. LifePoint Health has a 52-week low of $50.60 and a 52-week high of $70.95. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $63.46 and its 200 day moving average price is $62.00.

LifePoint Health (NASDAQ:LPNT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 28th. The company reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.06. LifePoint Health had a return on equity of 7.06% and a net margin of 2.26%. The company had revenue of $1.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.64 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.85 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that LifePoint Health will post $4.20 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, Director Richard H. Evans sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.88, for a total transaction of $125,760.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 17,718 shares in the company, valued at $1,114,107.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman William F. Carpenter III sold 82,347 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.15, for a total value of $5,282,560.05. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 504,535 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $32,365,920.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 7.28% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. US Bancorp DE boosted its stake in LifePoint Health by 1.6% in the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 1,931 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in LifePoint Health by 18.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,946 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 306 shares in the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas acquired a new stake in LifePoint Health during the first quarter valued at about $210,000. Regent Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in LifePoint Health during the first quarter valued at about $230,000. Finally, Fox Run Management L.L.C. acquired a new stake in LifePoint Health during the first quarter valued at about $255,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.56% of the company’s stock.

LifePoint Health Company Profile

LifePoint Health, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute facilities. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated 72 hospital campuses in 22 states, having a total of 9,424 licensed beds. It offers a range of general and specialized healthcare services to patients through a network of hospitals and outpatient facilities.

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Analyst Recommendations for LifePoint Health (NASDAQ:LPNT)

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