Does HCA Healthcare Inc. (HCA) offer a good opportunity for investors?

HCA Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: HCA) stock fell -4.22% on Tuesday to $252.68 against a previous-day closing price of $263.81. With 2.22 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 1.27 million shares. During the session, the Medical Care Facilities company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $265.35 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $252.09. 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 $265.55. With its current market cap of 70.23 billion, HCA has annualized dividend of $2.24 while the current yield stands at 0.89%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.65.

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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 down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -2.18%, but this was up by 4.03% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 28.49% while six-month performance rose 27.21%. The stock gained 6.20% in the past year, while it has gained 5.30% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for HCA yields 17.71 with Next year EPS estimates of 18.22. For the next quarter, that number is 4.77. This implies an EPS growth rate of 93.70% for this year and 7.06% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 5.47% 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, 285.96 million HCA shares are outstanding with a float of 210.77 million shares on hand for trading. On Oct 13, 2022, short shares totaled 3.24 million, which was 1.13% higher than short shares on Sep 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 67.25% of HCA’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 37.12% of HCA, in contrast to 33.03% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 30.17%. As the largest shareholder in HCA with 6.08% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 17,186,262 shares worth 17,186,262. A second-largest stockholder of HCA, Wellington Management Co. LLP, holds 13,998,030 shares, controlling over 4.95% of the firm’s shares. Sanders Capital LLC is the third largest shareholder in HCA, holding 11,124,743 shares or 3.94% stake. With a 2.32% stake in HCA, the Vanguard Wellington Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 6,560,183 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 2.28% of HCA stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 6,449,762 shares valued at 1.55 billion. Vanguard 500 Index Fund holds 1.73% of the stake in HCA, owning 4,901,290 shares worth 1.18 billion.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for HCA since 26 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 18 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 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 $308.00 and a low target of $150.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $260.30. Based on these targets, HCA could surge 21.89% to reach the target high and fall by -40.64% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 3.02% 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 01/30/2024. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $17.50 being high and $16.60 being low. For HCA, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $17.01. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. HCA Healthcare Inc. surprised analysts by $0.05 when it reported $3.93 EPS against a consensus estimate of $3.88. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.51. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $5.27 and the low estimate is $4.34. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $4.79.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded HCA stock several times over the past three months with 6 Buys and 10 Sells. In these transactions, 122,847 shares were bought while 117,726 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 40 while that of sell transactions has risen to 39 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 375,178 while 267,264 shares were sold.

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