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HCA Stock Price Target Cut at Jefferies After Warning

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jefferies lowered its price target for HCA Holdings (HCA - Get Report) to $88 from $112 on Thursday, maintaining a "buy" rating for the hospital operator.

Shares of HCA Holdings were falling 9% to $69.22 in morning trading.

The analyst firm lowered its 2015 EPS estimates for the company to $5.24 a share, down from its previous estimate of $5.35 a share for the year. Jefferies also lowered its 2016 EPS estimates for HCA to $5.84 a share from $6 a share.

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The lower price target and EPS estimates come a day after HCA said it expects low earnings for the third quarter. Jefferies analysts noted that expectations were low for the company before the pre-release on Wednesday night, adding that HCA's modest third quarter EBITDA miss "was most likely baked into the stock" already.

Jefferies analysts wrote, "While investors had grown concerned about potential Q3 volume weakness, particularly against toughening Y/Y comps, we were encouraged by HCA's +3.6% same-facility equivalent admissions (vs. +3.0% consensus) during the quarter (inpatient admission SSS of +2.9%...