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Envision tanks after earnings miss, will review strategic alternatives

Envision Healthcare shares tanked 36 percent to a 52-week low after the company posted a weaker-than-expected profit. The S&P 500, meanwhile, rose 0.3 percent to an all-time high.

On Tuesday, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of 73 cents for the third quarter, well below the Reuters estimate of 88 cents. Envision’s revenue of $1.99 billion matched analyst expectations.

The health-care company also warned of a fourth quarter shortfall, forecasting an adjusted profit between 44 cents and 54 cents a share. Analysts polled by StreetAccount were expecting profit guidance of $1 per share.

Envision Chairman William Sanger said in a statement the company will start a “review of strategic alternatives” with the goal of “enhancing shareholder value.” “The Board believes that a review at this time – with all options on the table, including continuing to execute on our strategic plan – is in the best interests of Envision shareholders,” he said.

Much of Envision’s business is in hurricane-stricken Florida, “but this is the company’s third earnings disappointment since last year’s combination of Amsurg and legacy EVHC,” Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Joseph France said in a note Tuesday. “We still like outsourcing and believe that the business can recover, but this seems unlikely in the near term.”

France downgraded the stock to neutral from overweight and slashed his price target to $30 from $70. Envision traded near $26.70 on Wednesday. He noted that “this process will take a while and its outcome is uncertain.”

The company’s stock had already fallen sharply this year. Entering Wednesday’s session, Envision shares were down 32.7 percent.

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