Zacks Investment Research Lowers HealthSouth (HLS) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of HealthSouth (NYSE:HLS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “HealthSouth Corporation is dedicated to comprehensive rehabilitation medicine. In the hospital and at home, HealthSouth’s team of experts is focused solely on rehabilitation. They collaborate closely on decisions, goals and therapy options. Their priority is to deliver high quality patient care and their team of experts has extensive experience in today’s most advanced therapeutic methods and technologies. HealthSouth leads the way, intensive approach to rehabilitation, returning patients to full strength in less than average time. HealthSouth has the most advanced technology, a highly qualified rehabilitation team and unparalleled depth of experience. Therapy is performed to get the patient back to the highest level of strength and function after illness, injury or surgery. The focus is completely on the patient and family, doing what’s right for recovery in a positive atmosphere of encouragement, support and respect for individual needs. “

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on HLS. SunTrust Banks set a $58.00 price target on shares of HealthSouth and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating on shares of HealthSouth in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. William Blair restated an outperform rating on shares of HealthSouth in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. Robert W. Baird restated a buy rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of HealthSouth in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Finally, Mizuho upgraded shares of HealthSouth from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. HealthSouth presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $52.44.

HealthSouth (HLS) opened at $49.41 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.89, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 1.34. The firm has a market cap of $4,857.54, a PE ratio of 17.97, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.54. HealthSouth has a 52 week low of $38.24 and a 52 week high of $50.41.

HealthSouth (NYSE:HLS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $995.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $985.75 million. HealthSouth had a net margin of 6.69% and a return on equity of 22.81%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.65 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that HealthSouth will post 2.72 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 29th. HealthSouth’s payout ratio is currently 36.36%.

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

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of HealthSouth by 64.7% during the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in shares of HealthSouth by 33.8% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,092 shares of the company’s stock valued at $149,000 after acquiring an additional 781 shares during the last quarter. Petrus Trust Company LTA acquired a new stake in shares of HealthSouth during the second quarter valued at about $210,000. Foster & Motley Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of HealthSouth during the third quarter valued at about $213,000. Finally, Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of HealthSouth by 99.3% during the third quarter. Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $219,000 after acquiring an additional 2,355 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.18% of the company’s stock.

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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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