The 2013 All-America Research Team: Health Care Facilities, No. 3: Kevin Fischbeck

Kevin Fischbeck
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 3

Analyst debut: 2011

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Kevin Fischbeck rises to No. 3 after two years at runner-up; he also merits a runner-up position in Managed Care. “The hospital sector started off the year with a good run as sentiment improved following the reelection of President Obama, which provided a more secure view that health care reform will be implemented,” the analyst says. “However, the group has been range bound since April, as volumes have been weak and people have started to question whether the benefits from reform are fully reflected in the stock prices.” Fischbeck is positive on these names for the next 12 months — though the shares may be volatile on concerns that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act might not roll out as quickly or as smoothly as anticipated — and believes that ACA-related rewards will be more “front-end loaded” than many are suggesting. His top pick going forward is Nashville, Tennessee–based HCA Holdings. “The stock is a best-in-class operator, showing better volume growth and cost control than its peers, and as investors begin to get more comfortable about the rollout of the health care reform, they will gravitate to it,” he believes. “Kevin has done a real nice job outlining the risks and opportunities created by Obamacare for the hospitals,” reports one of his backers. “His bullish call on the space has earned clients lots of money.” — Leslie Kramer