Shares of HealthSouth Corp. (NYSE:HLS) have been given an average rating of “Buy” by the twelve research firms that are currently covering the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $46.13.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on HLS shares. Barclays PLC lowered HealthSouth Corp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $45.00 to $42.00 in a research report on Monday, June 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of HealthSouth Corp. in a report on Sunday, September 11th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded HealthSouth Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, August 1st. SunTrust Banks Inc. set a $54.00 price objective on HealthSouth Corp. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 1st. Finally, JMP Securities restated a “buy” rating on shares of HealthSouth Corp. in a report on Sunday, September 4th.

Shares of HealthSouth Corp. (NYSE:HLS) opened at 40.66 on Tuesday. HealthSouth Corp. has a 12-month low of $30.26 and a 12-month high of $43.38. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $40.65 and a 200 day moving average price of $39.97. The stock has a market cap of $3.65 billion, a PE ratio of 17.85 and a beta of 1.02.

HealthSouth Corp. (NYSE:HLS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.09. HealthSouth Corp. had a return on equity of 28.99% and a net margin of 6.26%. The company earned $920.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $906.67 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.47 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 20.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that HealthSouth Corp. will post $2.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Investors of record on Monday, October 3rd will be paid a $0.24 dividend. This is an increase from HealthSouth Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.36%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 29th. HealthSouth Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.29%.

In related news, COO Mark J. Tarr sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.85, for a total value of $837,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 252,519 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,567,920.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 5.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. William Blair Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of HealthSouth Corp. by 37.7% in the second quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 3,061,817 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,860,000 after buying an additional 837,747 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in shares of HealthSouth Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $22,389,000. Allianz Asset Management AG increased its stake in shares of HealthSouth Corp. by 382.0% in the second quarter. Allianz Asset Management AG now owns 716,684 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,822,000 after buying an additional 567,979 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in shares of HealthSouth Corp. by 321.1% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 638,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $24,023,000 after buying an additional 486,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cumberland Partners Ltd increased its stake in shares of HealthSouth Corp. by 178.5% in the second quarter. Cumberland Partners Ltd now owns 559,025 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,702,000 after buying an additional 358,325 shares in the last quarter. 94.94% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About HealthSouth Corp.

HealthSouth Corporation (HealthSouth) is a provider of post-acute healthcare services, offering both facility-based and home-based post-acute services in over 30 states and Puerto Rico through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies and hospice agencies. The Company’s segments include inpatient rehabilitation, and home health and hospice.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:HLS

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