Diamonds and Dogs
At least one healthcare stock is up. HCA Healthcare (HCA), the largest U.S. for-profit hospital operator, is up 5% to new all-time highs following earnings. HCA reported $2.12 per share, excluding non-recurring items, 25 cents better than expectations. Revenues rose 8.7%. Operators have been plagued by low patient admissions in the past few quarters, but HCA has been buying hospitals from rivals in the face of the decline in volumes. The company, which operates 179 hospitals and 120 freestanding surgery centers, said its revenue rose to $11.56 billion from $10.64 billion.
Healthcare giants taking a hit. Unitedhealth (UNH) is down 4%, Cigna (CI) is down 6% and CVS Health (CVS) is down 4% as news the CEOs of Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JP Morgan Chase are considering an independent health care company "free from profit-making incentives and constraints" for their workers. Interesting idea. We'll see if it works.