Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Universal Health’s shares have underperformed the industry in last three months .The company is  exposed to integration risks owing to several acquisitions. Further, its highly leveraged balance sheet is a major headwind. Based upon the operating trends and financial results during the first nine months of 2017, the company has lowered its 2017 earnings guidance. However, its inorganic growth impresses. Consistent growth in its revenue base on the back of solid Acute Care and Behavioral Health platforms also remains a positive.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $147.00 price target on shares of Universal Health Services in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $117.00 price target on shares of Universal Health Services in a report on Friday, October 27th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $122.00 price target on shares of Universal Health Services in a report on Friday, October 27th. Citigroup raised Universal Health Services from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on Universal Health Services in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They issued a buy rating and a $137.00 price target for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. Universal Health Services has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $130.50.

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) opened at $110.15 on Friday. Universal Health Services has a 52-week low of $95.26 and a 52-week high of $129.74. The company has a market capitalization of $10,460.00, a PE ratio of 15.15, a PEG ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.26.

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The health services provider reported $1.49 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.60 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.60 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Universal Health Services will post 7.36 EPS for the current year.

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

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

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 0.3% during the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 6,643 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $811,000 after purchasing an additional 18 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 1.6% during the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 3,705 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $452,000 after purchasing an additional 57 shares during the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 2.4% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 2,838 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $346,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares during the last quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 1.1% during the second quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 6,848 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $836,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State of Tennessee Treasury Department raised its stake in shares of Universal Health Services by 0.3% during the second quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 24,454 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $2,985,000 after purchasing an additional 77 shares during the last quarter. 86.07% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

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