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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 8, 2014
10:18 EDTAET, HUM, UNH, UAM, WCG, CI, HNT, WLPCMS says Medicare Advantage reimbursement to rise in 2015
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Medicare Advantage and prescription drug rates for 2015. The agency estimated that its payments for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries would rise slightly, versus its previous estimate that such payments would fall. A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide subscribers with Part A and Part B benefits. WHAT'S NEW: CMS reimbursements for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will rise 0.4%, CMS estimated, compared to a February proposal that contemplated a 1.9% cut. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today, FBR Capital analyst Steven Halper wrote that the final Medicare Advantage rates are a positive for health insurers with significant exposure to such plans. Companies in this category include Aetna (AET), Humana (HUM), and UnitedHealth (UNH), said Halper. He kept Outperform ratings on Aetna and United Health and a Market Perform rating on Humana. Another research firm, Leerink, said it views the "biggest positive" from the final rates that the CMS announced last night as the delay in the proposal to eliminate in home Health Risk Assessments to support reimbursement for high risk seniors. Leerink thinks the final rates are favorable for MA plans and estimates the positive impact in order: Humana, Universal American (UAM), WellCare (WCG), UnitedHealth, Cigna (CI), Aetna, Health Net (HNT) and WellPoint (WLP). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Aetna rose fractionally to $72.70, UnitedHealth lost 0.6% to $80.59, Humana sank 1.8% to $109.95, and Universal American added 2c to $7.16.
News For AET;HUM;UNH;UAM;WCG;CI;HNT;WLP From The Last 14 Days
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August 14, 2014
17:00 EDTCIGreenlight Capital gives quarterly update on stakes
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16:11 EDTWCGWellCare expects to appoint Andrew Asher as CFO in November
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14:13 EDTUNHOmega Advisors gives quarterly update on stakes
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08:06 EDTHUMHumana management to meet with Oppenheimer
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08:05 EDTHUMHumana management to meet with UBS
Meetings to be held in Denver/Minneapolis on August 14 hosted by UBS.
August 13, 2014
18:24 EDTHNTDepartment of Veterans Affairs expands contract with Health Net Federal Services
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06:02 EDTWLPWellPoint changing corporate name to Anthem Inc.
WellPoint announced plans to change its corporate name to Anthem, Inc. The change is expected to take place by the end of 2014.
August 12, 2014
06:35 EDTHNT, HUM, WLP, AETManged Care recent pullback a buying opportunity, says Leerink
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August 8, 2014
09:12 EDTHNTHealth Net price target raised to $68 from $60 at Sterne Agee
Sterne Agee increased its price target on Health Net as the firm expects the company to perform well regardless of challenges in its sector. The firm keeps a Buy rating on the shares.
07:59 EDTUNHBenefitfocus price target raised to $45 from $41 at Canaccord
Canaccord raised its price target on Benefitfocus (BNFT) to $45 from $41 following its better than expected Q2 results. The firm cited continued momentum, its United Health (UNH) win, and its potential to establish itself as one of the premier vendors in the benefits administration space. Canaccord keeps a Buy rating on Benefitfocus.
August 7, 2014
14:06 EDTAETReinsurance Group names Tim Matson as Chief Investment Officer
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13:23 EDTWLP, AET, WCG, UNH, HUM, HNT, UAM, CILeerink healthcare services analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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12:29 EDTWLP, AET, CI, UNHHealth insurers fall after two downgrades from Goldman
Shares of a number of health insurers are falling after Goldman Sachs downgraded its rating on one stock in the sector and removed another from its Conviction List. WHAT'S NEW: Goldman analyst Matthew Borsch downgraded his rating on Aetna (AET) to Neutral from Buy and removed UnitedHealth (UNH) from the firm's Conviction List, as he believes that other stocks in the healthcare sector are more attractive. Utilization of healthcare services by individuals who don't have the Affordable Care Act is likely to show signs of increasing by 2015, posing a "manageable" challenge to health insurers, Borsch wrote. However, the increase in the utilization of these services is likely to be "relatively gradual" compared with similar trends in the past, the analyst contended. Borsch based his forecast on healthcare spending trends during previous economic recoveries. He reduced his 2015 earnings estimate for Aetna to $7 from $7.10 and for United Health to $5.95 from $6. He reduced his 2015 EPS estimates for other companies in the sector, as his earnings outlook for WellPoint (WLP) declined to $9.20 from $9.35, while his estimate for Cigna (CI) for next year dropped to $7.90 from $8. The analyst kept Neutral ratings on both WellPoint and Cigna. Meanwhile, Borsch cut his price target on Aetna to $88 from $91 and on UnitedHealth to $91 from $96. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Aetna fell 3% to $76, UnitedHealth slumped 2.5% to $79.50, WellPoint declined 2.5% to $108, and Cigna retreated 2.5% to $89.
10:00 EDTUNH, AETOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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05:41 EDTAETAetna downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Goldman Sachs downgraded Aetna to Neutral citing less favorable sector trends. The firm lowered its price target for shares to $88 from $91.
05:40 EDTUNHUnitedHealth downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Goldman Sachs downgraded UnitedHealth to Buy saying it sees better opportunities elsewhere within healthcare given its expectations for a stronger utilization environment. The firm dropped its price target for shares to $91 from $96.
August 6, 2014
11:14 EDTHNTHealth Net expects DCP to move lower in 2H14
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08:39 EDTHNTHealth Net backs view for FY14 GAAP EPS at least $3.00
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08:36 EDTHNTHealth Net reports Q2 EPS 42c, consensus 56c
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06:21 EDTUNHPiper Jaffray to hold a summit
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