HealthSouth Sees Unusually High Options Volume (HLS)

HealthSouth Corp (NYSE:HLS) saw unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 688 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 942% compared to the average daily volume of 66 put options.

In other HealthSouth news, Director Yvonne M. Curl bought 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was acquired at an average price of $45.95 per share, with a total value of $45,950.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 64,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,947,416.80. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 1.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HLS. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in HealthSouth in the second quarter valued at approximately $37,868,000. APG Asset Management N.V. acquired a new stake in HealthSouth in the third quarter valued at approximately $27,082,000. Balyasny Asset Management LLC grew its stake in HealthSouth by 421.4% in the second quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 618,311 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,926,000 after acquiring an additional 499,715 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in HealthSouth by 4.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,532,456 shares of the company’s stock valued at $364,571,000 after acquiring an additional 328,081 shares during the period. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. grew its stake in HealthSouth by 137.1% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 434,679 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,039,000 after acquiring an additional 251,372 shares during the period. 93.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of HealthSouth (NYSE:HLS) opened at $52.47 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.34, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.89. HealthSouth has a one year low of $38.24 and a one year high of $52.58. The company has a market capitalization of $4,870.00, a P/E ratio of 19.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.54.

HealthSouth (NYSE:HLS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. HealthSouth had a return on equity of 22.81% and a net margin of 6.69%. The firm had revenue of $995.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $985.75 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.65 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that HealthSouth will post 2.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 2nd will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 29th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.91%. HealthSouth’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 36.50%.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on the company. SunTrust Banks set a $58.00 target price on HealthSouth and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of HealthSouth in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. Zacks Investment Research cut HealthSouth from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 30th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of HealthSouth in a research note on Sunday, September 17th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of HealthSouth in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.44.

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HealthSouth Company Profile

HealthSouth Corporation (HealthSouth) is a provider of post-acute healthcare services, offering both facility-based and home-based post-acute services in 35 states and Puerto Rico through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies and hospice agencies. The Company manages its operations through segments, including inpatient rehabilitation, and home health and hospice.

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