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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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March 4, 2015
08:31 EDTUNHInsperity forms broker alliance with UnitedHealth
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08:17 EDTUNHUnitedHealth management to meet with Deutsche Bank
Meeting to be held in Kansas City, MO on March 4 hosted by Deutsche Bank.
07:57 EDTAETExact Sciences says Aetna Medicare Advantage to cover Cologuard
Exact Sciences (EXAS) announced that Aetna (AET) will cover Cologuard under its Medicare Advantage plan, reaching 967,000 members across the country. The three year agreement will go into effect on April 1. Cologuard is the first and only FDA approved noninvasive stool-based DNA screening test for colon cancer. The test will be available to Aetna’s Medicare Advantage members through their physician without a co-payment or co-insurance.
06:39 EDTUNH, CI, WCG, AETNo preparations under way for elimination of some subsidies, NY Times says
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March 3, 2015
08:02 EDTUNHUnitedHealth management to meet with Deutsche Bank
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February 27, 2015
16:38 EDTCICigna to reaffirm FY15 consolidated adjusted income from operations forecast
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09:53 EDTCICigna management to meet with JPMorgan
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February 24, 2015
13:23 EDTAETAetna, Virtua Medical Group expand relationship
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07:04 EDTCIUroplasty announces positive coverage decision for tibal nerve stimulation
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February 23, 2015
19:40 EDTCI, UNH, AET, WCGLeerink healthcare services analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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16:27 EDTWCG, UNHOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in negative territory and remained there for most of the session, with the Nasdaq the lone index to post a small gain. The Dow was weighed down by shares of Boeing (BA), which slid after the stock received a downgrade. There was little in the way of positive economic news, as the most notable report showed existing homes were lower than expected due to a shortage of inventory. The averages drifted for most of the session, as investors may be waiting on the sidelines ahead of tomorrow’s banking panel testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago Fed national activity index rebounded to 0.13 in January, which was nearly in-line with expectations. Existing home sales dropped 4.9% to a 4.82M rate in January, which was much worse than the expected 1.8% drop to a 4.95M unit rate. In Europe, the Ifo Institute’s measure of German business confidence rose to 106.8 in February, which was up a tenth of a percentage point from the previous month but below the 107.7 consensus forecast. Also, the Bank of Israel became the latest central bank to cut rates this year, lowering its main interest rate to 0.1% from 0.25%. COMPANY NEWS: The shares of a number of health insurers rose after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, issued preliminary 2016 Medicare Advantage rates. According to Credit Suisse, the rates were favorable for the insurers. Following the CMS announcement made late Friday, Humana (HUM) climbed $8.40, or 5.38%, to $164.52, UnitedHealth (UNH) rose $3.78, or 3.36%, to $116.40, and WellCare (WCG) gained $4.68, or 5.53%, to $89.30. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was PTC Therapeutics (PTCT), which jumped $9.77, or 17.7%, to $64.96 after Reuters said the company is working with financial advisers to explore a potential sale after receiving takeover interest from several companies including Shire (SHPG) and BioMarin (BMRN). Also higher was Valeant (VRX), which rose $25.49, or 14.71%, to $198.75 after the company agreed to buy Salix (SLXP) for $158 per share and also reported better-than-forecast earnings. Salix shares, however, fell $2.09, or 1.32%, to $155.76, as a report Friday from CNBC's David Faber telegraphed the deal and suggested Valeant could value Salix around $160 per share. Among the noteworthy losers was Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), which dropped $1.18, or 15.82%, to $6.28 after a judge ruled that a drug which could compete with the company's Fusilev treatment does not infringe on the company's intellectual property. Also lower were shares of Boeing, which fell $3.57, or 2.26%, to $154.74 after the stock was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. INDEXES: The Dow fell 23.60, or 0.13%, to 18,116.84, the Nasdaq gained 5.01, or 0.1%, to 4,960.97, and the S&P 500 slipped 0.64, or 0.03%, to 2,109.66.
12:21 EDTAET, WCG, CI, UNHOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:10 EDTWCG, AET, CI, UNHHealth insurers rise after CMS releases preliminary Medicare Advantage rates
The shares of a number of health insurers are rising after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, issued preliminary 2016 Medicare Advantage rates. According to Credit Suisse, the rates were favorable for health insurers. WHAT'S NEW: On Friday after the market closed, CMS issued a proposal for 2016 Medicare Advantage rates. The rates are preliminary and could change when CMS announces the final 2016 rates on April 6 of this year, the agency noted. In a note to investors earlier today, Credit Suisse analyst Ralph Giacobbe estimated that, under CMS' initial proposal, insurers would see rate changes of between -1% and +1%, depending on the risk that each insurer faces. The preliminary rates were "favorable" for insurers, since the rates were "in-line if not slightly better" than investors had expected, the firm stated. Moreover, CMS decided not to restrict at-home health risk assessments, as had been feared, and agreed to reduce the weighting of certain risk factors that had hurt previously certain plans with a higher proportion of low-income beneficiaries, acceding to a request by insurers. Insurers with the highest exposure to Medicare Advantage include Humana (HUM), UnitedHealth (UNH), and WellCare (WCG), the analyst stated. WHAT'S NOTABLE: After analyzing CMS' proposal, health insurer Aetna (AET) estimated that the proposal would cause government funding for its Medicare Advantage business to decline by about 1% in 2016. Aetna added that it is continuing to evaluate the changes outlined in the Advance Notice and their impact on the company and its Medicare Advantage members. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other publicly traded health insurance companies include Anthem (ANTM), AMERIGROUP (AGP), Centene (CNC), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Healthspring (HS), and Molina Healthcare (MOH). PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Humana climbed 5.3% to $164.43, UnitedHealth rose 2.6% to $115.56, WellCare gained 6.3% to $90, Aetna advanced 2% to $99.91, and Centene added 3.4% to $61.93.
09:03 EDTAETAetna sees preliminary CMS rates to lower funding for MA business 1% in 2016
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08:05 EDTCI, UNH, AET, WCGCMS releases preliminary Medicare Advantage rates for 2016
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February 20, 2015
08:41 EDTUNH, AET, CIInsurers should be bought on weakness related to MA rates, says BMO Capital
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February 18, 2015
08:21 EDTWCGWellCare price target raised to $105 from $95 at Leerink
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07:57 EDTCICigna management to meet with UBS
Field trip to company headquarters to be held in Bloomfield, CT on February 18 hosted by UBS.
07:29 EDTWCGWellCare management team has improved, says Stifel
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06:56 EDTWCG, AET, CI, UNH, WLPObamacare enrollment exceeded goal, Politico reports
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