Ramsay Health Care (ASX: RHC) shares plummet amid brokers' concerns over French business - Kalkine Media

November 29, 2023 11:35 AM AEDT | By Team Kalkine Media
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The Australian healthcare sector witnessed a notable event as Ramsay Health Care's (ASX: RHC) shares experienced a downturn, falling by as much as 1.9% to AU$48.39, in the morning hours on 29 November 2023. This marks the lowest point since 30 October 2023, raising concerns among investors and analysts about the health giant's future outlook.

Citi's Analysis: Lack of Inflation Subsidy and Higher Tax Rate in France

One of the key factors contributing to the decline is Citi's analysis, which points to a potential lack of inflation subsidy and a higher tax rate in France for the fiscal year 2024. These challenges pose a significant hurdle for Ramsay Health Care, impacting its financial landscape and investor confidence.

Brokerage's EPS Forecasts Cut for FY24-FY26

In response to the challenges outlined by Citi, there has been a substantial cut in the earnings per share (EPS) forecasts by the brokerage. The reduction is notable, with a 27% cut for FY24, 8% for FY25, and 5% for FY26. This adjustment underscores the magnitude of the issues faced by Ramsay Health Care.

Citi's Target Price Adjustment and "Neutral" Rating 

As a consequence, Citi has adjusted its target price for Ramsay Health Care to AU$50 from AU$50.50 and maintained a "neutral" rating. The decision is attributed to the lack of visibility on the timing of margin recovery in Europe and the UK. This cautious stance reflects the uncertainties looming over the company's financial trajectory.

Macquarie's Insights: Challenges Across Operations in France

Adding to the concerns, analysts at Macquarie have flagged challenges across Ramsay Health Care's operations in France. While Macquarie maintains an unchanged price target, their acknowledgment of operational challenges aligns with Citi's assessment, contributing to the overall apprehension in the market.

Inflationary Pressures and Cost Compensation in 1H24

Ramsay Health Care has noted a continuation of inflationary pressures in France. Macquarie's insight indicates expectations of lower cost compensation in the first half of 2024. This further adds to the complexities faced by the healthcare giant in managing its operations efficiently.

Analyst Ratings and LSEG Data

According to LSEG data, out of the 15 analysts covering Ramsay Health Care, three rate the stock as "buy," 10 as "hold," and two as "sell." The median price target stands at AU$53.50, reflecting diverse opinions within the analyst community regarding the stock's future trajectory.

Stock Performance in 2023

Ramsay Health Care's stock has experienced a challenging year, with a significant 23.8% decline in value as of the last close. This downward trend is indicative of the hurdles faced by the company and underscores the need for strategic adjustments to navigate the evolving market dynamics.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Ramsay Health Care's recent share decline highlights the complex challenges faced by the healthcare giant, especially in its French operations. The analyses from Citi and Macquarie, coupled with the adjustment in EPS forecasts and target price, paint a cautious picture of the company's future. The stock's performance in 2023 further underscores the importance of addressing these challenges to regain investor confidence.

 


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