Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HRC) Volatility Spurs A Quest For Clarity

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    The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HRC). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Healthcare company by 1.25% to 6.33 million shares with purchase of 77985.0 shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 9.52% valued currently at $643.83 million. In addition, Select Equity Group LP raised its holdings by 1.06 million to 3.87 million shares. And Victory Capital Management, Inc. has lifted its position by 983.01% or 1.58 million shares – to 1.74 million shares.

    With over 0.44 million Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (HRC) shares trading Thursday and a closing price of $111.09 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $48.67 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 0.56% and its price on 07/09/20 lost nearly -0.79%. Currently, there are 66.69M common shares owned by the public and among those 66.47M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 8 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for HRC have a consensus price objective of $124.88. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $140.00 and a low of $115.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. stock is 1.70 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 11.04% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 3.4% over that period. But an upside of 20.65% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $124.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 99 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 41 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 117,679 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 58 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 80,768 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF, and Hartford Mid Cap Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 1.93 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $195.94 million. The company sold 6065.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.90% of the shares outstanding. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF bought 3780.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 1.82 million shares valued at over $184.76 million and representing 2.73% of the shares outstanding. Hartford Mid Cap Fund bought 0.12 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 1.81 million shares at a value of $184.29 million. Hartford Mid Cap Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.72% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HRC) opened at $112.05, up $0.08 from a prior closing price of $111.97. However, the script later closed the day at $111.09, down -0.79%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 0.56% and -1.28% over the past three months. HRC shares are trading -2.15% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 6.57% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $72.29 and touched a high of $117.50 over the same period. Currently, 0.44 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 687.81K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 7.33%, 7.64%, and 6.03% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HRC) shares accounts for 90.10% of the company’s 66.69M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 46.51%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 7.75% and 41.01% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $7.32B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.72. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 50.94, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $2.18. The company has a PEG of 3.68 and a Quick Ratio of 1.20 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 1.36. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 1.86% over the week and 3.09% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (HRC) will achieve an EPS of $1.47 for the current quarter, $1.67 for the next quarter and $6.02 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $1.3 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.68. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.23 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -16.80%, and 8.47% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 13.83% over the next five years, compared to 16.60% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 8 brokerage firm advisors rate Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (HRC) as a “Strong Buy” at a consensus score of 1.70. Specifically, 7 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 0 of the 8 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the HRC, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Barclays stated their Overweight rating for the stock in a research note on March 17, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $116. Morgan Stanley coverage for the Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (HRC) stock in a research note released on December 17, 2019 offered a Overweight rating with a price target of $138. Barclays was of a view on October 16, 2018 that the stock is Equal Weight, while Needham gave the stock Buy rating on April 30, 2018, issuing a price target of $105- $106. Goldman on their part issued Neutral rating on April 04, 2018.

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