Shares of LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHCG) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $136.12 and last traded at $129.21, with a volume of 2269 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $127.00.

The health services provider reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.18. LHC Group had a net margin of 4.20% and a return on equity of 8.83%. The company had revenue of $528.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $534.15 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.95 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on LHCG shares. UBS Group raised their price objective on shares of LHC Group from $133.00 to $136.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 23rd. Deutsche Bank started coverage on shares of LHC Group in a research note on Monday, September 16th. They set a “buy” rating and a $145.00 price objective for the company. Oppenheimer raised their price objective on shares of LHC Group from $125.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $135.00 price objective on shares of LHC Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Finally, Barclays raised their price objective on shares of LHC Group from $113.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $130.18.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LHCG. Invesco Ltd. grew its stake in LHC Group by 148.4% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 996,291 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $119,136,000 after acquiring an additional 595,208 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in LHC Group by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,960,615 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $593,191,000 after acquiring an additional 274,262 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its stake in LHC Group by 576.4% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 182,739 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $21,852,000 after acquiring an additional 155,724 shares during the period. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC purchased a new stake in LHC Group in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $17,028,000. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in LHC Group by 2,775.1% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 152,608 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $18,249,000 after acquiring an additional 147,300 shares during the period. 90.90% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The stock has a market capitalization of $3.91 billion, a PE ratio of 35.59, a PEG ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a current ratio of 1.59, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.16. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $115.07 and its 200 day simple moving average is $117.39.

About LHC Group (NASDAQ:LHCG)

LHC Group, Inc provides post-acute health care services to patients through its home nursing agencies, hospices and long-term acute care hospitals. The company operates through the following business segments: Home Health Services, Hospice Services, Home & Community-Based Services, Facility-Based Services and Healthcare Innovations.

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