School’s out, but not for HCA

School’s out folks.  Across the country, kids are shrugging off book bags and looking forward to beach time, barbecues, and summer camp.  But what happens to all those hard-won smarts over the course of the next couple months?  According to a study quoted by the Brooking’s Institution: (1) on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning, (2) declines were sharper for math than for reading, and (3) the extent of loss was larger at higher grade levels.  Time to dig through that pile of papers for the summer reading list, I guess.

Here, at Nephron, we want to help avoid any brain rot over the Summer.  This week, Josh reminded us of the benefits of a long-term memory in financial analysis.  In particular, he revisited HCA’s post-IPO (2011) strategy for Capital Expenditures, Repurchases (and Dividends) and M&A.  While capex and repos have come to define most of the period, the last year and a half have seen a serious ramp  in hospital M&A activity and we think this continues.  There’s a LOT of work in this piece behind that statement and on growth of markets, integration, and share shifts.  Ultimately, we think acquisitions  add  roughly  $3 billion to the topline (or 7%) and $230 million to EBITDA (or 3%), with the potential growth in EBITDA from these facilities close to $350 million(or 4%). for more