Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of patient support and medical equipment rental company Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE:HRC) popped as much as 12% today following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings results.
So what: It was a pretty mixed report for Hill-Rom, which reported a nearly flat 0.2% increase in revenue, to $432 million, and a profit of $0.56. Revenue figures sailed past Wall Street's consensus, with EPS perfectly meeting expectations. Hill-Rom's first-quarter guidance, though, was notably weaker than the Street, with the company forecasting EPS of $0.43 to $0.45, versus the consensus estimate of $0.50. Hill-Rom's forecast assumes a challenging global environment in 2013, but does note strength in international markets and from its recent acquisitions of Volker and Aspen Surgical.
Now what: Hill-Rom isn't particularly expensive at just 13 times forward earnings, but it's not a company with many catalysts to send its profits or share price much higher than they are now. In fact, I'm pretty bewildered why the stock rose as much as it did today on a relatively mixed report. For now, I'm perfectly happy watching this one from the sidelines.
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