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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 25, 2014
12:11 EDTUNH, WLP, CI, WCG, AETWellCare 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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February 1, 2016
12:13 EDTAETOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday, but off their worst levels of the day, as oil is once again being weighed on by worries of slower growth in China. Several M&A announcements helped fuel speculation that deal-making may be set to pick up, but the headwinds of lower oil prices and weak economic data are outweighing that potential boost and keeping stocks in the red to start the month. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income rose 0.3% in December, versus expectations for an increase of 0.2%, while spending was flat, versus expectations for an increase of 0.1%. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers index for January dipped to 52.4 in the final January reading, down from the 52.7 flash reading and the below the 52.6 reading that was expected. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for January came in at 48.2, below the 48.4 that analysts expected. Construction spending rose 0.1% in December, which was weaker than the 0.6% increase that was forecast. In China, the statistics bureau's official manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 49.4 in January from 49.7 in December. The private Caixin manufacturing PMI edged up to 48.4 from 48.2 in the prior reading, but both figures still remain in contraction territory. In Europe, Markit's manufacturing PMI for the euro zone dropped to 52.3 from December's 53.2, in-line with the earlier flash estimate. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Twitter (TWTR) advanced 9% after tech reporter Jessica Lessin said private equity firm Silver Lake and investor Marc Andreessen have "considered some sort of deal" for the microblog service operator. Lessin noted in the report published on her site, The Information, that she did not know if deal talks are "active" now between Andreessen, Silver Lake and Twitter... Alere (ALR) surged 45% to $54 per share near midday after Abbott (ABT) agreed to acquire the company for $56 per share at a total expected equity value of $5.8B. In other Monday M&A news, Questar (STR) rose 22% after Dominion Resources (D) agreed to acquire it for $25 per share, or about $4.4B, and assume Questar's outstanding debt. Meanwhile, Stryker (SYK) announced a deal to acquire Sage Products for $2.775B in cash. The buyers' shares did not fare as well in the wake of the deal announcements, as Abbott slipped 0.5%, Dominion dipped 1% and Stryker fell 1%. Also lower were shares of Smith & Nephew (SNN), which slid fractionally as investors may have been concerned that Stryker's deal decreases the likelihood that it will come after S&N. Additionally, Smith & Nephew announced that its CEO Olivier Bohuon has been diagnosed with a "highly treatable" form of cancer. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Lumber Liquidators (LL), which gained 8.5% after a judge accepted the company's $10M plea deal to settle timber source crime charges, according to media reports. Also higher was Chipotle (CMG), which rose 5.5% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to formally declare the end to its E.coli outbreak as soon as today. In addition, Sysco (SYY) and Aetna (AET) were up 7% and 2%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was Nokia (NOK), which fell 12% after it forecasted how much revenue it expects to gain from its IP portfolio after its patent deal with Samsung (SSNLF) and its shares were downgraded at Canaccord and BofA Merrill Lynch. Also lower was GoPro (GPRO), which was slid 5% after analysts from Piper Jaffray and Citi predicted that the company's guidance to be issued this week will disappoint investors. In addition, Roper Technologies (ROP) and ImmunoGen (IMGN) were down 6.5% and 5.7%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 56.40, or 0.34%, to 16,409.90, the Nasdaq was down 12.25, or 0.27%, to 4,601.70, and the S&P 500 was down 6.51, or 0.34%, to 1,933.73.
08:52 EDTAETAetna sees Q1-end medical members 22.7M-22.8M
08:52 EDTAETAetna sees FY16 revenue $62B, consensus $62.73B
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08:48 EDTAETAetna expects Individual Commercial Results expected to improve in 2016
The company reported Individual Commercial losses were 3%-4% in Q4.
08:41 EDTAETAetna says individual commercial unit still unprofitable
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08:39 EDTAETAetnaexpects to grow Individual Medicare advantage by 10% in 2016
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08:09 EDTAETOptions expected to be active
Options expected to be active: GOOGL GOOG YHOO UPS KORS UPS BAX RCL CCL PFE AET D STR DWA CMG ABT SYK.
06:04 EDTAETAetna reports Q4 Health Care business revenue $14.4B
Reports Q4 Group Insurance revenue $618.3M. Reports Q4 Large Case Pensions revenue $67.5M.
06:03 EDTAETAetna on track to close Humana transaction in 2H16
The company commented, "We continue to work diligently with the Department of Justice and state regulators toward final approval of our proposed acquisition of Humana, and we continue to advance our integration readiness plans. We have obtained seven of the necessary state approvals, and we believe we remain on track to close the transaction in the second half of 2016."
06:02 EDTAETAetna sees FY16 operating EPS of at least $7.75, consensus $8.05
06:01 EDTAETAetna reports medical membership totaled 23.5M at December 31, 2015
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06:01 EDTAETAetna reports Q4 operating EPS $1.37, consensus $1.21
Reports Q4 revenue $15.09B, consensus $14.93B.
January 29, 2016
14:24 EDTUNH, AET, CIEarnings Watch: Aetna down 9% since last report
Aetna (AET) is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings before the market open on Monday, February 1, with a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am ET. Aetna, a diversified health care benefits company in the United States, operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.21 on revenue of $14.93B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.16-$1.32 on revenue of $14.44B-$15.36B. LAST QUARTER: Aetna reported third quarter EPS of $1.90 on revenue of $14.97B against analyst estimates of $1.77 and $14.95B, respectively. The company raised its fiscal 2015 EPS view to $7.45-$7.55 from "at least $7.40." Operating earnings were $668.6M for Q315 compared with $638.6M for Q314. The increase in operating earnings was primarily due to higher underwriting margins in Aetna's Health Care segment, partially offset by an increase in general and administrative expenses and lower underwriting margins in Aetna's Group Insurance segment. On January 11, Aetna said it see FY15 EPS at the high end of the $7.45-$7.55 range. Consensus for FY15 EPS is $7.54. STREET RESEARCH: On January 15, Wells Fargo said it expects health insurers' stock to do well this year, as the firm expects M&A deals made the last years to increase profits this year, and it thinks investors should be attracted to what it sees as the defensive names in the sector. Wells does not believe that any changes to or replacements of the ACA will be worse for the sector than the status quo. It identified Aetna and HCA Holdings (HCA) as its favorite names in the sector. On January 25, Leerink analyst Ana Gupte said she believed the recent selloff has provided a "strong" buying opportunity in the Managed Care space. Valuations are attractive on multiple metrics, Gupte told investors in a research note. Her top picks are UnitedHealth (UNH), Aetna, Humana (HUM) and Molina Healthcare (MOH). The analyst also favors Anthem (ANTM) and Cigna (CI). PRICE ACTION: Shares of Aetna are down approximately 9% since its last earnings report. The stock is up 2.6% to $101.42 in Friday afternoon trading ahead of Monday morning's report.
13:10 EDTAETAetna technical comments ahead of earnings
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07:03 EDTAETAetna volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Aetna February weekly call option implied volatility is at 47, February and March is at 38; compared to its 52-week range of 18 to 44, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 1.
January 28, 2016
17:01 EDTAETAetna enters four-year reinsurance arrangement with Vitality Re VII
Aetna announced it has entered into a four-year reinsurance arrangement with Vitality Re VII. The arrangement allows Aetna to reduce its required capital and provides $200M of collateralized excess of loss reinsurance coverage on a portion of Aetna's group commercial health insurance business.
06:24 EDTUNHAnthem added to Focus List at Citi
Citi analyst Ralph Giacobbe added Anthem (ANTM) to his firm's Focus List. As Anthem and Express Scripts (ESRX) continue to negotiate their pharmacy benefits manager contract, the analyst sees UnitedHealth (UNH) as a potential alternative for Anthem. Regardless of the outcome, Anthem is in the "driver's seat for significant savings/upside," which is not reflected in the stock. Giacobbe tells investors in a research note. He keeps a Buy rating on the name with a $172 price target.
January 25, 2016
15:24 EDTUNHExpress Scripts off highs after Clinton tweets critical NPR report
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09:08 EDTCI, AETCalifornia seen asking for few remedies in health insurance mergers, CTFN says
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08:23 EDTCI, UNH, AETLeerink sees 'strong' buying opportunity in Managed Care space
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