February was a stormy month for assisted living stocks. And everyone is hurling thunderbolts at the analyst they say bears responsibility.
"We believe that the stocks are unlikely to be valued on a fundamental basis during this time as news of the impending and likely negative report enters the market," she explained. "It is our obligation to inform investors in a timely fashion."
On February 4, BancBoston Robertson Stephens senior health care analyst Sheryl Skolnick announced she was suspending coverage of four assisted living companies-Alternative Living Services, Balanced Care, CareMatrix, and Sunrise Assisted Living-citing concerns about the potential impact of a Government Accounting Office report on the industry which was due out April 26.
While Skolnick admitted that she did not know exactly what would be in the report, she said there is "an increasingly real risk that regulations could be imposed."
Coming from one of the sector's biggest boosters, the effect was akin to Mrs. Murphy's cow kicking over the lantern. In the first hour of trading following the announcement, the entire sector lost almost a billion dollars in market …