Pricing power is pretty weak now so that may not quite work out. They can always resort to collection of bad debt. It's considerable money, so sue their asses; take the money from their paychecks.
In case you've forgotten, on Jan 9th after market close, LPNT released their latest 2006 guidance. That is their based on their "formal plans". That is not something that an analyst came up with, it was released by Lifepoint.
If you are suggesting that they will have a new plan that will raise guidance, I doubt it in the short term. However, things do change and if something significant changes then of course the stock could move either up or down.
As long as the "Formal Plans" keep the guidance of January 9 in place, this stock is unlikely to move upward beyond the low 30's, and will probably experience dips into the high 20's.
I will look for those dips as buying opportunities, because I think they will eventually right the ship, but probably not in the next 6 to 9 months.
people won't stop getting sick, but there's no guarantee that they will pay, the basis of profit, and medicare/medicaid is a sure drag on profit. look for another 20% drop in value 2nd week of FEB based on terrible news and forward statements. just like 2nd week of JAN. look for LPNT INC to be sold by FALL. GET OUT OF THIS CRAP
Speculators may buy in on the dips as will I, but they will not drive it up past the low 30's until something changes in the current financial situation.
There are other choices in the healthcare segment that are more attractive investments right now.
You are correct that people will continue to get sick and everyone knows that with the aging baby boomers, there will be plenty of business for healthcare providers. The key to attracting investors and driving healthcare stocks up will be the demonstrated ability to profit on the increased demand for services.