May 15 Robert W Baird upgraded Amedisys Inc
and Gentiva Health Services Inc to "neutral"
from "underperform," lauding the home health providers' efforts
to cut costs.
Shares of Gentiva jumped 14 percent to a high of $7.28,
while those of Amedisys rose as much as 11 percent to $11.32 on
Tuesday on the Nasdaq.
"We under-estimated the ability of home health providers to
take out costs," analyst Whit Mayo said.
"(That) plus a material sell-off in the stocks are the two
primary factors prompting this upgrade," he said.
Shares in Gentiva have fallen 23 percent since the start of
this month excluding their gains on Tuesday, while Amedisys'
stock has lost nearly a third of its value over the same period.
Home health providers -- Gentiva, Amedisys, LHC Group
and Almost Family -- have suffered a series of
recent setbacks, including reimbursement cuts, new Medicare
regulations and federal probes into billing practices.
Amedisys, which posted a lower quarterly profit last week,
indicated that it would struggle to offset the impact of changes
in Medicare reimbursement rates.