Piper Jaffray Companies Lowers Universal Health Services (UHS) to Neutral

Piper Jaffray Companies cut shares of Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) from an overweight rating to a neutral rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning, MarketBeat reports. The brokerage currently has $147.00 target price on the health services provider’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on UHS. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating and issued a $147.00 target price on shares of Universal Health Services in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Zacks Investment Research cut Universal Health Services from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on Universal Health Services in a research report on Monday, October 16th. They set an outperform rating and a $125.00 price objective on the stock. Stephens began coverage on Universal Health Services in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. They set an equal weight rating and a $120.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $122.00 price objective on shares of Universal Health Services in a research report on Friday, October 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Universal Health Services presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $130.50.

Shares of Universal Health Services (NYSE UHS) opened at $111.97 on Wednesday. Universal Health Services has a 12 month low of $95.26 and a 12 month high of $129.74. The company has a market capitalization of $10,630.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.40, a PEG ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80.

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The health services provider reported $1.49 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.76 by ($0.27). Universal Health Services had a return on equity of 15.13% and a net margin of 6.90%. The company had revenue of $2.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.60 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.60 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Universal Health Services will post 7.36 EPS for the current year.

Universal Health Services declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, November 15th that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the health services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st were issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. Universal Health Services’s dividend payout ratio is 5.50%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Hefty Wealth Partners lifted its holdings in Universal Health Services by 36.9% in the fourth quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 5,354 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $607,000 after acquiring an additional 1,444 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its holdings in Universal Health Services by 16.2% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 162,466 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $18,024,000 after acquiring an additional 22,633 shares during the period. AXA lifted its holdings in Universal Health Services by 1.0% in the third quarter. AXA now owns 79,016 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $8,766,000 after acquiring an additional 757 shares during the period. Jana Partners LLC lifted its holdings in Universal Health Services by 39.1% in the third quarter. Jana Partners LLC now owns 1,891,986 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $209,897,000 after acquiring an additional 531,358 shares during the period. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP lifted its holdings in Universal Health Services by 154.0% in the third quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 6,135 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $681,000 after acquiring an additional 3,720 shares during the period. 86.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Universal Health Services Company Profile

Universal Health Services, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s principal business is owning and operating, through its subsidiaries, acute care hospitals and outpatient facilities, and behavioral healthcare facilities. The Company’s segments include Acute Care Hospital Services, Behavioral Health Services and Other.

Analyst Recommendations for Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS)

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