NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of HCA (HCA - Get Report) were sharply higher on heavy trading volume midday Thursday as KeyBanc Capital Markets raised its rating on the stock to "overweight" from "sector weight."
The firm has a $94 price target on shares of the Nashville-based operator of hospital and healthcare facilities.
KeyBanc believes the shares offer a favorable risk/reward scenario. The firm said the Presidential election could provide a near-term catalyst as the stock does not appear to have priced in recently improved polling of a Democratic win.
If Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton wins the election, this could be positive for HCA and the hospital group as it would reduce the risks and uncertainty that the Republicans pose to the Affordable Care Act, according to KeyBanc.
"However, unlike some of its peers, due to its more moderate leverage and consistent earnings growth, we do not view HCA as being highly at risk in the event of a Republican victory," the firm noted.
KeyBanc also cited HCA's moderate earnings per share growth outlook, strong urban market positioning, history of consistent execution, moderate leverage and strong free cash flow profile.
More than 3.82 million of the company's shares changed hands so far today vs. its average volume of 2.47 million shares per day.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B- on the stock.
The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations.
The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: HCA