Davita (DVA) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Davita (NYSE:DVA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $82.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 10.77% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, Davita had a favorable run on the bourse, outperforming the broader industry. DaVita’s continuous improvement in Kidney care is commendable. The company’s efforts to control expenses hold promise. A compelling inorganic growth story supported by its strong financial position is another positive. The restructuring initiative for the DMG segment is likely to yield annualized savings of around $40 million every year, starting 2018. On the flipside, sluggishness in the dialysis and lab businesses is a major headwind for DaVita. The company is facing the adverse effects of the tumult in the U.S. medical space and rise in Medicare insurance costs, which might shorten the company’s customer base. However, strong growth in patient services is likely to boost the company’s growth trajectory.”

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Wolfe Research upgraded Davita from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Bank of America dropped their target price on Davita from $75.00 to $66.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Davita from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Raymond James Financial upgraded Davita from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $65.00 to $84.00 in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada dropped their target price on Davita from $64.00 to $60.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $78.60.

Shares of Davita (NYSE:DVA) traded up $1.19 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $74.03. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,578,392 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,290,000. Davita has a fifty-two week low of $52.51 and a fifty-two week high of $80.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $13,570.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.36 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a quick ratio of 1.35, a current ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79.

Davita announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP Leanne M. Zumwalt sold 949 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.19, for a total value of $64,712.31. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 12,423 shares in the company, valued at $847,124.37. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Charles Berg sold 7,048 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.24, for a total transaction of $488,003.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 5,359 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $371,057.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 121,509 shares of company stock valued at $8,310,388 in the last quarter. 2.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Davita by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 587,575 shares of the company’s stock worth $42,453,000 after buying an additional 14,040 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Davita by 1.9% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 490,132 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,109,000 after buying an additional 9,332 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its stake in Davita by 14.7% in the third quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 444,358 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,390,000 after buying an additional 56,988 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in Davita by 769.0% in the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 434,191 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,387,000 after buying an additional 384,224 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hikari Power Ltd raised its stake in Davita by 6.9% in the fourth quarter. Hikari Power Ltd now owns 333,920 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,126,000 after buying an additional 21,620 shares in the last quarter. 86.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Davita Company Profile

DaVita Inc, formerly DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc, operates two divisions: DaVita Kidney Care (Kidney Care) and DaVita Medical Group (DMG). The Kidney Care division consists of its the United States dialysis and related lab services, its ancillary services and strategic initiatives, including its international operations, and its corporate administrative support.

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