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Shares of AMN Healthcare jumped Monday

Shares of AMN Healthcare jumped Monday, the same day that BMO Capital Markets released a report saying that conditions have improved for the health care staffing industry.

Analyst Jeffrey Silber raised his rating on AMN shares to "Outperform" from "Market Perform" with a price target of $7 per share. AMN is the largest health care staffing firm. Silber believes profit growth should improve, and said AMN shares are priced more favourably than shares of rival Cross Country Healthcare Inc.

"While it may take some time for healthcare staffing to return to its pre-Great Recession levels, we believe that the worst is behind the industry and that growth could continue to accelerate in 2012 - one of the only staffing sectors likely to experience that," Silber said.

In November, the San Diego company said it is experiencing a steady market recovery, with improving results in its three biggest businesses. AMN has reported strong revenue growth in 2011, including a jump of 37 percent in the third quarter. AMN said it had an average of 5,300 staffers on assignment per day during the quarter, an improvement of about 65 percent from a year ago.

The company expects to complete the sale of its home health care business during the first quarter of 2012.


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