It makes sense and dollars to buy HCA Healthcare Inc. (HCA) stock

HCA Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: HCA) stock fell -1.73% on Friday to $212.72 against a previous-day closing price of $216.47. With 1.09 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 2.02 million shares. During the session, the Medical Care Facilities company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $217.04 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $212.31. The 52-week range on HCA shows that it touched its highest point at $279.02 and its lowest point at $164.47 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $236.98. With its current market cap of 60.56 billion, HCA has annualized dividend of $2.24 while the current yield stands at 1.05%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.72.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of HCA was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 1.40%, but this was up by 28.15% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -5.37% while six-month performance fell -11.66%. The stock lost -14.32% in the past year, while it has lost -17.20% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for HCA yields 20.80 with Next year EPS estimates of 18.93. For the next quarter, that number is 3.99. This implies an EPS growth rate of 93.70% for this year and 10.21% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 5.58% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 23.70%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 302.45 million HCA shares are outstanding with a float of 220.03 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 4.57 million, which was 1.55% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Samuel N. Hazen as the firm’s CEO & Director, Mr. William B. Rutherford serves as its Exec. VP & CFO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 68.55% of HCA’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 37.90% of HCA, in contrast to 31.53% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 31.18%. As the largest shareholder in HCA with 6.13% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 18,118,813 shares worth 18,118,813. A second-largest stockholder of HCA, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., holds 15,074,885 shares, controlling over 5.10% of the firm’s shares. Wellington Management Co. LLP is the third largest shareholder in HCA, holding 14,315,204 shares or 4.85% stake. With a 2.21% stake in HCA, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 6,535,533 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Wellington Fund, which owns about 2.12% of HCA stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 6,266,382 shares valued at 1.05 billion. Vanguard 500 Index Fund holds 1.71% of the stake in HCA, owning 5,036,730 shares worth 846.47 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for HCA since 27 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 18 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 1 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 5 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 3 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With HCA analysts setting a high price target of $283.00 and a low target of $150.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $232.00. Based on these targets, HCA could surge 33.04% to reach the target high and fall by -29.48% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 9.06% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. HCA will report FY 2022 earnings on 01/31/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $18.80 being high and $16.44 being low. For HCA, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $17.22. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. HCA Healthcare Inc. surprised analysts by $0.51 when it reported $4.21 EPS against a consensus estimate of $3.70. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was -$0.14. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $4.63 and the low estimate is $3.61. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $3.99.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded HCA stock several times over the past three months with 0 Buys and 1 Sells. In these transactions, 0 shares were bought while 2,358 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 51 while that of sell transactions has risen to 57 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 829,998 while 678,652 shares were sold.

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