HealthSouth Corp. (NYSE:HLS) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 8,175,721 shares, an increase of 55.3% from the September 15th total of 5,262,886 shares. Currently, 9.4% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 584,796 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 14.0 days.

In related news, COO Mark J. Tarr sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.85, for a total value of $837,000.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 252,519 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,567,920.15. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 5.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. A.R.T. Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of HealthSouth Corp. by 195.2% in the first quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC now owns 81,822 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,078,000 after buying an additional 54,100 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of HealthSouth Corp. by 21.4% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 38,222 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,438,000 after buying an additional 6,738 shares during the last quarter. Bayesian Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of HealthSouth Corp. during the first quarter valued at $259,000. AMP Capital Investors Ltd raised its position in shares of HealthSouth Corp. by 10.4% in the first quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 98,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,680,000 after buying an additional 9,300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of HealthSouth Corp. by 3.7% in the first quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 69,892 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,630,000 after buying an additional 2,517 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.94% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on HLS. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of HealthSouth Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 5th. SunTrust Banks Inc. set a $54.00 target price on shares of HealthSouth Corp. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. JMP Securities reissued a “buy” rating on shares of HealthSouth Corp. in a research report on Sunday, September 4th. Wells Fargo & Co. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of HealthSouth Corp. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Finally, Barclays PLC downgraded shares of HealthSouth Corp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their target price 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. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $46.00.

HealthSouth Corp. (NYSE:HLS) opened at 39.86 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $40.64 and a 200-day moving average of $40.06. The firm has a market cap of $3.58 billion, a PE ratio of 17.50 and a beta of 1.02. HealthSouth Corp. has a 52 week low of $30.26 and a 52 week high of $43.38.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 3rd were paid a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 29th. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.41%. This is a boost from HealthSouth Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. HealthSouth Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 42.29%.

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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