NASHVILLE – A panel of leading health care research analysts told a packed house of more than 550 health care executives at the Nashville Health Care Council’s annual event, Wall Street’s View on Prospects for the Health Care Industry, that the outlook for Nashville’s leading health care industry in 2011 is positive, with an emphasis on acquisitions and innovation.
Today’s panel was moderated by former Health Care Council Chairman Wayne Smith, chairman, president and CEO, Community Health Systems; and included panelists Christopher Cooley, managing director, Stephens; Kemp Dolliver, managing director, Avondale Partners; Adam Feinstein, managing director, Barclays Capital; and Frank Morgan, managing director, RBC Capital Markets.
Dolliver summed up the panel’s expectations for 2011: “It’s a good year for the industry with an expected robust M&A environment.” View video excerpts of industry predictions online.
The panel represented diverse sector coverage from hospitals and ambulatory services to medical devices and pharmacy benefit managers. While some sectors were favored over others, Cooley emphasized that overall, “Innovation is what will drive sustainable growth.”
“The health care industry is all about patient care at its highest quality and we continue to see innovations coming out of Nashville’s dynamic health care industry,” Smith said.
Analysts expressed bullish optimism for the hospital sector. “M&A consolidation will be a theme, in part due to health care reform, particularly transactions that are adding to the bottom line,” Feinstein said. Demonstrating their confidence in the sector, analysts chose Nashville hospital companies Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH) and LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ: LPNT) as strong investments. They also favored dialysis services and diabetic supplies.
Although the outlook is favorable for 2011, without significant M&A activity analysts don’t expect growth much higher than 2010: “Acquisitions are what you’ve got to have,” Morgan said.
“Nashville’s diverse health care companies operate nationally and globally, impacting the health care landscape on a daily basis. They are trend-setters in providing top-quality and innovative patient care,” said Nashville Health Care Council President Caroline Young. “As home to 17 publicly traded health care companies, analysts are closely watching ideas evolving out of this unique community.”
About the Nashville Health Care Council
The Nashville Health Care Council, founded in 1995 as an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. Worldwide, Nashville’s health care industry generates $62 billion in revenue and approximately 400,000 jobs, and is Nashville’s largest and fastest growing employer. For more information on the Council, please visit www.healthcarecouncil.com.