Hospital Stocks on the Upswing

by: Joshua Morgan Brown

The double and triple-long bank crowd may have stayed one day too late as the financials took a breather, with the KBW Bank Index (NYSEARCA:KBE) off over 6.5% on the day. Maybe the enthusiasm for the group waned on the heels of Goldman's (NYSE:GS) obfuscated earnings call (more on that below)....profits were taken, regardless.

The fire yesterday was clearly in the Hospital stocks, with double-digit moves in Tenet Health (NYSE:THC) and Community Health (NYSE:CYH), possibly because of Obama's renewed talk of a government-paid model in healthcare. (Tenet has a number of hospitals in Florida where they basically never end up getting paid when the uninsured are wheeled in to the ER.)

Here's the 3:30 look at the sector, which was up over 8% yesterday in an otherwise down tape:

Intraday Price Performance % Change Market Cap
TENET HLTHCRE CP (THC) +21.74% $549.0 M
HLTH MGMT ASSOC A (NYSE:HMA) +9.77% $757.1 M
Dynacq Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ:DYII) +8.36% $53.3 M

But today's main event went down early - the Goldman Sachs conference call. The numbers themselves came out last night, but the big buzz on The Street today was what happened to the "Missing Month"? Barry Ritholtz called it the "Orphan Month" in his post How To Puff Up Earnings, Goldman Sachs Style...

From Floyd Norris Via The Big Picture:

Goldman’s 2008 fiscal year ended Nov. 30. This year the company is switching to a calendar year. The leaves December as an orphan month, one that will be largely ignored. In Goldman’s news release, and in most of the news reports, the quarter ended March 31 is compared to the quarter last year that ending in February.

The orphan month featured — surprise — lots of writeoffs. The pre-tax loss was $1.3 billion, and the after-tax loss was $780 million.

Would the firm have had a profit if it stuck to its old calendar, and had to include December and exclude March?

So far, Goldman seems to be hiding its Lying Eyes and pulling this one off.

Another monster afternoon for earnings today, including a report from former growth stock and current value stock Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), and a morning rush tomorrow, too. Stay alert.

Full Disclosure: I have no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. My commentary here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an invitation to buy or sell any securities.

About this article:

Want to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.
Disagree with this article? .
To report a factual error in this article, click here