LifePoint Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPNT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “LifePoint Health’s stock has underperformed the industry year to date. Its focus on strategic growth through acquisition and integration of well-positioned hospitals in the growing areas of the U.S. have contributed to its top line growth. The company has also been divesting non-core operations to focus on core growth areas. Its sufficient cash enables the company to make acquisitions and buyback shares. Following second-quarter results, the company trimmed its 2017 guidance on a challenging volume environment and weak revenue growth. The company is faced with increasing expenses which has outpaced revenue growth thereby squeezing operating margins. High bad debt is another concern. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.9% downward over the last 60 days.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded LifePoint Health from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. BidaskClub lowered LifePoint Health from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on LifePoint Health in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $65.00 price target for the company. TheStreet lowered LifePoint Health from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price target on shares of LifePoint Health in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.18.

LifePoint Health (NASDAQ:LPNT) traded up 1.35% during trading on Monday, reaching $56.45. 310,248 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.26 billion, a PE ratio of 12.64 and a beta of 0.85. LifePoint Health has a 52-week low of $50.60 and a 52-week high of $70.95. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $58.28 and its 200 day moving average is $62.22.

LifePoint Health (NASDAQ:LPNT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The company reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.06. LifePoint Health had a return on equity of 7.40% and a net margin of 2.61%. The company had revenue of $1.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.64 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.69 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that LifePoint Health will post $4.06 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, Chairman William F. Carpenter III sold 82,347 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.15, for a total transaction of $5,282,560.05. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 504,535 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $32,365,920.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman William F. Carpenter III sold 17,653 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.06, for a total value of $1,148,504.18. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 439,841 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $28,616,055.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 7.28% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of LifePoint Health by 11,671.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,745,824 shares of the company’s stock worth $245,351,000 after purchasing an additional 3,714,004 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of LifePoint Health by 0.5% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,388,830 shares of the company’s stock worth $221,969,000 after purchasing an additional 18,327 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of LifePoint Health by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,310,467 shares of the company’s stock worth $222,299,000 after purchasing an additional 43,504 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in shares of LifePoint Health by 5.5% during the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 3,257,272 shares of the company’s stock worth $213,351,000 after purchasing an additional 168,451 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LSV Asset Management raised its stake in shares of LifePoint Health by 83.5% during the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,994,557 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,934,000 after purchasing an additional 907,469 shares in the last quarter. 99.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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