Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS) declared a quarterly dividend on Friday, January 19th, Wall Street Journal reports. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st will be given a dividend of 0.10 per share by the health services provider on Thursday, March 15th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.34%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th.
Universal Health Services has raised its dividend by an average of 10.1% annually over the last three years. Universal Health Services has a dividend payout ratio of 5.4% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Analysts expect Universal Health Services to earn $7.94 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.40 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 5.0%.
Universal Health Services (NYSE UHS) traded up $0.77 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $118.09. 1,839,851 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,038,728. The firm has a market capitalization of $11,210.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.45 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a current ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. Universal Health Services has a 1-year low of $95.26 and a 1-year high of $129.74.
Universal Health Services declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, November 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the health services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
Several brokerages have recently weighed in on UHS. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Universal Health Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, January 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $134.00 price objective on shares of Universal Health Services in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Universal Health Services in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $137.00 price objective on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies lowered shares of Universal Health Services from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $147.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $135.00 price objective (up previously from $125.00) on shares of Universal Health Services in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $130.50.
About Universal Health Services
Universal Health Services, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s principal business is owning and operating, through its subsidiaries, acute care hospitals and outpatient facilities, and behavioral healthcare facilities. The Company’s segments include Acute Care Hospital Services, Behavioral Health Services and Other.
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