Publicly Traded Chain Includes 3 OC Hospitals
Publicly traded hospital chains, including Tenet Healthcare Corp., are drawing positive reviews from Wall Street as 2012 approaches.
Dallas-based Tenet owns Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, Los Alamitos Medical Center and PlacentiaLinda Community Hospital. Tenet once was Orange County's largest hospital operator until selling some facilities after a federal probe in the mid-2000s.
Analyst Jason Gurda of Leerink Swann LLC in Boston said that he was "positively biased" toward Tenet and peer hospital chains such as Community Health Systems Inc. of Franklin, Tenn., and Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Holdings Inc.
A Supreme Court review of healthcare reform legislation scheduled in mid2012 represents "a nearterm overhang" on the hospital segment, Gurda said.
But the analyst added he doesn't believe much benefit from reforms has been priced into the companies' stocks.
"In addition, we believe most of the potential growth challenges - soft volumes, government reimbursement cuts, etc.- are already built into estimates," Gurda said.
The Wall Street consensus forecast for Tenet projects a $232.1 million profit on revenue of $9.99 billion in 2012.
Michael Mussallem, longtime leader of Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. which recently secured Food and Drug Administration approval for a less-invasive Sapien heart valve - placed No. 4 on a top10 list of best chief executives compiled by chlefist.com.
Chiefistcom analyzes data on chief executives' compensation and company performance and ranks companies according to management quality. Factors considered in compiling the list included profit margin, earnings per share, return on equity, book value, share-price appreciation and market capitalization.
University of California, Irvine, professor and entrepreneur Hans Keirstead has many irons in the stem-cell fire.
He is chairman of the scientific advisory board of Irvine startup California Stem Cells Inc., which is working on stem cell treatments for neurological conditions and cancer and also licensed a spinal cord-injury treatment that Menlo Park-based Geron Corp. was testing until halting clinical trials last month.
But he also maintains an active teaching and research schedule at UC Irvine, including working at Sue and Bill Gross Hall, which is UCI's stem cell research center.
Keirstead founded Gross Hall and was original director of the center, which Peter Donovan now heads. Gross Hall, which is in an $80 million, 10,000-square-foot facility, could become the source of companies or licensed technology and possible treatments of spinal cord injuries, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, among other conditions.
"The stem-cell research center is a breeding ground of new and exciting technologies with the association of existing companies being quite broad," Keirstead said.
The center maintains relationships with companies such as California Stem Cells, StemCells Inc., located in the Bay Area community of Newark, Geron and Johnson & Johnson, the New Brunswick, N.J.-based medical conglomerate.
Donovan has said researchers and UCI officials plan to reach out to biotech companies, large drug makers and venture capitalists to attract money and alliances.
ConfirmMDx on Track
MDxHealth SA, a Belgian molecular diagnostics provider with an operation in Irvine, recently told investors it's on track for projected sales of its Prostate ConflrmMDx cancer test nationwide in the first half of 2012.
Recent moves included leasing 13,448 square feet of space on Alton Parkway in the Irvine Spectrum and hiring several executives for its commercial team. MDxHealth, which also has an office in Durham, N.C., develops and commercializes molecular diagnostic tests for cancer and companion diagnostics for personalized medicine.
Bits and Pieces:
Children's Hospital of Orange County in Orange received a $1.04 million grant from Blue Shield of California. The pediatric hospital said it would use the money to develop an agreement between itself and its payers known as an "accountable care organization" to create clinical and financial integration. . . . NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Irvine-based Quality Systems Inc., recently presented "best practice" awards to clients, including Newport Beach-based Nautilus Healthcare Management Group LLC, which used NextGen products to manage its patient population and support 200 doctors, 15 specialties and 80 practices. ... Peter Heseltine, former vice president and medical director at Brea medical testing company Beckman Coulter Inc., is the new senior vice president and chief medical officer at San Diego-based specialty drug and diagnostic company Prometheus Laboratories Inc.
Los Alamitos Medical Center: one of three Tenet hospitals here
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