Raymond James Ups Amsurg Rating

Analyst John Ransom finds the company's fundamentals compelling

Raymond James raised its investment rating on shares of Amsurg (AMSG ) to strong buy from outperform.

Analyst John Ransom says he sees the recently concluded MedPAC meeting as a non-event. He says the most significant recommendation by MedPAC, that payments surgical centers receive for certain procedures be lowered to the same level as rates received by hospitals was watered-down, and not likely to be implemented due to technical and legal obstacles. He upgraded the shares as MedPAC issues have now receded; he finds the company's fundamentals, and risk/return at 15 times his 2003 EPS estimate compelling. Ransom says Amsurg has delivered an enviable 7-year track record as the only large "single specialty" company in the surgery center segment. He sees $1.42 2003 EPS and has a $30 price target on the shares.