Today: Universal Health Services Inc. (UHS) Upgraded to “Hold” at The Zacks Investment Research

Today: Universal Health Services Inc. (UHS) Upgraded to “Hold” at The Zacks Investment Research

Universal Health Services Inc. (NYSE:UHS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Universal Health's robust inorganic growth story has been significantly contributing to its strong revenue base for long. Moreover, the U.S healthcare industry itself contains immense untapped opportunities with the rising numbers of baby boomers. The company’s Solid Acute-care Platform and Behavioral platform are two major strengths of Universal Health. However, it is severely exposed to integration risk stemmed from its numerous acquisitions. The company’s highly levered balance sheet is another major headwind. Universal Health is also expected to be hurt by margin contraction at both acute care and behavioral hospitals. Highly competitive markets and sluggish macroeconomic situations have again raised concerns for the company. In the recently reported third quarter, adjusted earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and led to the narrowing of the upper end of its full-year earnings guidance.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on UHS. Bank of America Corp. cut Universal Health Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $150.00 to $135.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. Mizuho decreased their price target on Universal Health Services from $150.00 to $142.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 27th. Barclays PLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $147.00 price target on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Monday, November 14th. Finally, Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Universal Health Services in a research note on Tuesday, October 25th. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $141.00.

Shares of Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) traded down 0.58% on Monday, hitting $122.46. The stock had a trading volume of 258,041 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $122.15 and a 200 day moving average of $127.42. Universal Health Services has a 12-month low of $100.82 and a 12-month high of $139.77.

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $1.60 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.68 by $0.08. Universal Health Services had a net margin of 7.31% and a return on equity of 16.35%. The business earned $2.61 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.53 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Universal Health Services will post $7.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 1st will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 29th. Universal Health Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 5.63%.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Universal Health Services by 1.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,106,458 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,087,076,000 after buying an additional 99,338 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Universal Health Services by 13.4% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,634,852 shares of the company’s stock valued at $621,534,000 after buying an additional 546,464 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Universal Health Services by 2.3% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,687,677 shares of the company’s stock valued at $494,513,000 after buying an additional 82,984 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in shares of Universal Health Services by 3.4% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 2,383,527 shares of the company’s stock valued at $293,698,000 after buying an additional 78,452 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in shares of Universal Health Services by 17.2% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,766,229 shares of the company’s stock valued at $217,635,000 after buying an additional 259,562 shares during the last quarter. 85.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Universal Health Services

Universal Health Services, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in owning and operating acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, surgical hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and radiation oncology centers. Its segment is acute care hospital services and behavioral healthcare services.

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