Amedisys (AMED) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Amedisys (NASDAQ:AMED) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Friday morning. The firm currently has $61.00 price objective on the health services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, Amedisys has been trading above the broader industry. The company is currently exploring new opportunities in both Home Health and Hospice. At the Home Health division, the company witnessed a decline in Medicare revenues, while there was an improvement in non-Medicare revenues. At the Hospice division, the company registered strong growth across all segments. A favorable demographic trend and strategic acquisitions bode well for the company. On the flip side, escalating operating expenses and declining gross margin continue to raise concerns. Also, an intense competitive landscape and regulatory concerns continue to pose challenges in the home health and hospice industry.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on AMED. BidaskClub cut shares of Amedisys from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Thursday. Robert W. Baird reiterated a hold rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Amedisys in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Mizuho restated a buy rating and set a $65.00 price objective (up from $55.00) on shares of Amedisys in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Benchmark restated a hold rating on shares of Amedisys in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Craig Hallum reiterated a buy rating and issued a $68.00 price target (up from $55.00) on shares of Amedisys in a report on Thursday, November 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $61.00.

Amedisys (NASDAQ AMED) traded up $0.23 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $54.76. 337,000 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 357,989. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.16. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,858.37, a price-to-earnings ratio of 43.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.71. Amedisys has a twelve month low of $43.07 and a twelve month high of $65.91.

Amedisys (NASDAQ:AMED) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The health services provider reported $0.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.02. Amedisys had a net margin of 2.88% and a return on equity of 14.68%. The company had revenue of $380.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $384.59 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.36 earnings per share. Amedisys’s revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Amedisys will post 2.24 earnings per share for the current year.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. DnB Asset Management AS bought a new stake in shares of Amedisys in the 4th quarter valued at about $3,722,000. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Amedisys by 3.6% during the 4th quarter. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC now owns 596,014 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $31,386,000 after acquiring an additional 20,699 shares in the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Amedisys by 15.8% during the 3rd quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 16,654 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $932,000 after acquiring an additional 2,268 shares in the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Amedisys by 286.9% during the 3rd quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC now owns 23,422 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $1,311,000 after acquiring an additional 17,368 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Amedisys by 4.0% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 64,785 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $3,625,000 after acquiring an additional 2,485 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.50% of the company’s stock.

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About Amedisys

Amedisys, Inc is a healthcare services company. The Company’s segments are Home Health, Hospice, Personal Care and Other. The Company is a provider of home health, hospice and personal care services. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and operated 327 Medicare-certified home healthcare centers, 79 Medicare-certified hospice care centers and 14 personal-care care centers in 34 states within the United States and the District of Columbia.

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