Bill Frist, Inside Trader

From Holden:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist dumped all of his stock in his family’s hospital corporation two weeks before a bad earnings report took a 15% bite out of the stock’s value.

Yes, the stock was in a blind trust. But First ordered the trustee to sell his shares and those of his wife and children as the negative earnings report was being developed. His brother, Thomas Frist, Jr., directs the company, Hospital Corporation of America. Someone needs to check the telephone recrods of the Frist brothers.

Frist held an undisclosed amount of stock in Hospital Corporation of America, based in Nashville, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain. On June 13, he instructed the trustee managing the assets to sell his HCA shares and those of his wife and children, said Amy Call, a spokeswoman for Frist.

Frist’s shares were sold by July 1 and those of his wife and children by July 8, Call said. The trustee decided when to sell the shares, and the Tennessee Republican had no control over the exact time they were sold, she said.

HCA shares peaked at midyear, climbing to $58.22 a share on June 22. After slipping slightly for two weeks, the price fell to $49.90 on July 13 after the company announced its quarterly earnings would not meet analysts’ expectations. On Tuesday, the shares closed at $48.76.


Frist’s father, Thomas, founded the company, and his brother, Thomas Jr., is a director and leading stockholder. The family is worth $1.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

HCA — formerly known as Columbia HCA Healthcare Corp. — has been a top contributor to the senator’s campaigns, donating $83,450 since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.