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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 25, 2014
12:11 EDTWLP, CI, WCG, AET, UNHWellCare profit warning sinks managed care names
A number of managed care names are falling after one of the companies in the sector, WellCare (WCG), preannounced significantly weaker than expected results. UBS, however, recommends using the weakness in the sector as a buying opportunity. WHAT'S NEW: WellCare, which specializes in managing Medicaid and Medicare plans, preannounced a second quarter per share loss of 7c, excluding certain items. Analysts on average expected the company to report a per share profit of 90c. The company's revenue came in slightly above expectations. WellCare cut its full-year earnings per share guidance to $2.20-$2.50 from $4.40-$4.75. The company said recipients of a new Medicaid program in Florida utilized more medical services than expected since the company began administering the program in May. Additionally, the company took an impairment charge related to an acquisition and it had an unfavorable reserve development. ANALYST REACTION: The factors cited by WellCare for the cut in its guidance appear to be specific to that company, UBS analyst A.J. Rice wrote. Meanwhile, data from other companies that administer Medicaid plans indicate that the increased utilization costs in that state are also specific to WellCare, Rice contended. For example, Centene (CNC) reported Q2 results earlier this week and indicated that utilization trends for newly covered beneficiaries in Florida was largely in line with expectations, while UnitedHealth (UNH) said its Medicaid business had performed well last quarter, the analyst stated. Additionally, WellCare said that its higher than expected medical utilization costs had been caused primarily by drug costs that exceeded its forecast, Rice stated. Since drug costs tend to be known relatively quickly, United Health and Centene would have divulged any issues with drug costs in conjunction with their Q2 results, Rice said. The analyst recommended that investors buy Aetna (AET), Cigna (CI), United Health and WellPoint (WLP) on any weakness today. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Aetna fell 1.5% to $83, Cigna lost 1% to $95.50, UnitedHealth lost 1% to $84.50, WellPoint slid 1.5% to $113.50 and Centene tumbled 7% to $74 while WellCare plunged 19% to $62.
News For AET;CI;UNH;WCG;WLP From The Last 14 Days
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April 16, 2015
06:05 EDTUNHUnitedHealth says Catamaran combination to contribute 30c to 2016 earnings
06:05 EDTUNHUnitedHealth raises FY15 EPS to $6.15-$6.30 from $6.00-$6.25, consensus $6.21
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06:01 EDTUNHUnitedHealth reports Q1 EPS $1.46, consensus $1.35
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April 15, 2015
14:46 EDTUNHUnitedHealth technical notes before earnings
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14:21 EDTUNHUnitedHealth April volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
UnitedHealth April call option implied volatility is at 58, May is at 26, June is at 23; compared to its 26-week average of 22 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q1 results on April 16.
11:51 EDTUNHExpress Scripts down 2% as Walgreens speaks at analyst day
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April 13, 2015
10:58 EDTCI, UNH, WCG, AETCigna, Humana seen as potential takeover targets in Managed Care space
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10:00 EDTUNHOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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07:33 EDTUNH, CI, AET, WCGJefferies sees low probability of WellCare, Centene buyouts
After running several acquisition scenarios for the Managed Care space, Jefferies says potential takeovers of WellCare (WCG) and Centene (CNC) are "hard to justify." The firm estimates acquirers will only be able to generate 1%-3% accretion from buying either company at a 20% premium to current share prices. The deal that makes the most financial sense is Aetna (AET) buying Cigna (CI), Jefferies says today in a note to investors. Also financially attractive would be a buyout of Humana (HUM) by either Anthem (ANTM) or Aetna, the firm adds. After analyzing the Managed Care space, it upgraded this morning shares of UnitedHealth (UNH) to Buy from Hold with a $141 price target. Jefferies also has Buy ratings on Aetna, Anthem, Health Net (HNT) and Molina Healthcare (MOH).
07:03 EDTUNHUnitedHealth upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Jefferies upgraded UnitedHealth to Buy saying the company's outlook continues to improve. It believes headwinds are turning to tailwinds in UNH's Medicare Advantage business and raised its price target for shares to $141 from $106.
April 9, 2015
09:21 EDTUNH, CICatamaran said to be likley to keep Cigna contract, CT Financial News reports
Brain Tanquilut, senior VP, Healthcare Services Equity Research at Jefferies, believes there is "precedent out there that suggests Catamaran’s (CTRX) contract with Cigna (CI) "is safe” despite UnitedHealth's (UNH) recent deal to buy the pharmacy benefits manager, according to CT Financial News. Reference Link
07:29 EDTUNHUnitedHealth April volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
UnitedHealth April call option implied volatility is at 34, May is at 25, June is at 21; compared to its 26-week average of 22 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q1 results on April 16.
April 7, 2015
10:23 EDTAET, CI, UNHMedicare Advantage 2016 rates set above expectations
The U.S. yesterday announced higher than expected 2016 Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates. The news is seen as benefiting managed care companies with large exposure to the Medicare Advantage program. WHAT'S NEW: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, yesterday afternoon announced that Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates would rise 1.25% in 2016 from 2015 levels. In February, CMS proposed a 0.95% reduction in Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates for 2016. This year, reimbursement rates have fallen 4%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Humana (HUM) said this morning in a regulatory filing that based on its review of the Final Rate Notice, the company expects an average Medicare Advantage funding increase for its business of approximately 0.8% from CMS for 2016, versus a funding decline of 1.25%-1.75% previously expected based on the Advance Notice. Humana’s estimated year-over-year funding increase as it affects the company is projected to be less than the CMS estimate for the MA program primarily due to Humana’s view of the projected impact associated with CMS’ 2016 adjustment to the risk model calculation, the company explained. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today, Deutsche Bank analyst Scott Fidel wrote that this is the first time in seven years that CMS has implemented an increase in Medicare Advantage rates. However, noting that CMS said it had raised its estimates for Medicare costs, Fidel added that this forecast tempered the positive outlook created by the reimbursement increase. The analyst kept Buy ratings on the following stocks in the sector: Aetna (AET), Anthem (ANTM), Cigna (CI), Magellan Health (MGLN), and UnitedHealth (UNH). Stifel analysts said that the results were modestly better than expected, except for the agency's decision not to make a Star rating adjustment for plans with certain higher acuity populations. The firm thinks that more diversified managed care companies with Medicare Advantage products could be boosted by CMS' decision, identifying Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealth as being among the companies in that category. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Aetna was little changed at $107.40, Anthem was flat near $155 per share, Cigna slipped 0.4% to $131.34, Magellan was flat at $71, UnitedHealth added 0.5% to $118.31 and Humana gained fractionally to $178.54.
08:20 EDTAET, WCG, CICowen expects managed care stocks to outperform following CMS release
Cowen expects managed care stocks to outperform today following the CMS release outlining better than expected Medicare Advantage rates for 2016. The firm also sees improved FFS growth rates, maintained coding intensity adjustment, and continued HRA payments. Publicly traded companies in the space include Aetna (AET), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Humana (HUM), and WellCare (WCG).
07:57 EDTWCG, CI, UNHManaged care companies likely to rise on CMS news, says Oppenheimer
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07:44 EDTAET, UNHSome managed care stocks could be boosted by CMS decision, says Stifel
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07:41 EDTCI, AET, UNH, WCG2016 MA rates positive for first time in seven years, says Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank notes that for the first time since 2009, Medicare Advantage rates will be positive after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced yesterday that final 2016 rates will rise by 1.25%, representing a 220 basis points favorable swing from the preliminary proposed cut of 0.95%. Deutsche says the positive surprise is "somewhat tempered" by the more cautious view on Medicare cost trends provided by the CMS actuaries in the final 2016 rate announcement. The firm expects Humana (HUM), Health Net (HNT) and UnitedHealth (UNH), Aetna (AET) and Anthem (ANTM) to experience Medicare Advantage rate increases.
07:39 EDTWCGSome managed care stocks could be pressured by CMS decision, says Stifel
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06:56 EDTAETAetna CEO sees 'groundswell' of wage increases in coming months, WSJ reports
Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, says he believes there will be a "groundswell" of pay increases for the lowest-paid employees at big companies in the next few months, The Wall Street Journal reports. Bertolini commented at a Peterson Institute for International Economics event that he believes "there are a number of CEOs that will come out in the next six months with wage increases that will matter." Reference Link
05:48 EDTUNHCatamaran downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
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