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JP Morgan Trims LifePoint Hospitals to Underweight

JP Morgan cut LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT) to underweight from neutral.

Analyst Lori Price says while LifePoint's deal to acquire Province Healthcare signals an underappreciation for hospital stocks that's consistent with her recent thesis on the group, she believes this transaction is primarily defensive in nature, as both companies have been straining to maintain organic growth. Moreover, she views the 66% purchase price premium for Province to be excessive.

Accordingly, Price downgraded LifePoint to reflect her concern with the company's ability to cultivate sufficient value after the transaction to justify the purchase price to be paid.

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