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Banc of America Ups United Surgical Partners to Buy

Banc of America upgraded United Surgical Partners International (USPI) to buy from neutral, explaining that surgery centers continue to take market share from traditional hospitals.

Analyst Gary Taylor says checks indicate that United Surgical Partners International's new facility pipeline and margin expansion should continue despite the stock's modest pullback (caused by mild unwarranted concern about patient volumes, in his view.) Given visibility into the company's very strong cash flow growth, he raises his $35 price target to $43, now based on 22 times his $1.95 2006 free-cash-flow estimate.

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