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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 8, 2014
10:18 EDTHNT, UAM, AET, CI, UNH, WLP, WCG, HUMCMS 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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February 1, 2016
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 EDTAET, HUMAetna 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, CI, HUM, AETEarnings 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, HUM, AETCalifornia seen asking for few remedies in health insurance mergers, CTFN says
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08:23 EDTHUM, AET, UNH, CILeerink sees 'strong' buying opportunity in Managed Care space
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January 22, 2016
11:07 EDTCICigna pullback on sanctions presents buying opportunity, says Citi
Citi analyst Ralph Giacobbe noted that the CMS sanctions and enrollment suspension imposed on Cigna's (CI) Medicare Advantage and PDP plans don't impact current members and are a tool used by CMS to force Cigna to tighten up perceived deficiencies with its operations. Giacobbe expects management to remediate these issues as soon as possible and recommends using any pullback in Cigna as a buying opportunity, as he continues to view its Anthem (ANTM) deal as a positive catalyst.
10:16 EDTCICigna sanctions unlikely to impact Anthem deal closing, says Sterne Agee CRT
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08:07 EDTCICigna down 3% after reporting CMS sanctions on Medicare Advantage contracts
08:05 EDTCICigna says CMS to impose sanctions on Medicare Advantage contracts
In a regulatory filing, Cigna announced it was notified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, of its intent to impose intermediate sanctions suspending the enrollment of and marketing to new customers of all Cigna Medicare Advantage and Standalone Prescription Drug Plan Contracts, effective at 11:59 p.m. on January 21. The suspension does not impact current Cigna Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D enrollees' benefits or plans, Cigna noted. The company said: "CMS imposed sanctions due to deficiencies discovered with Cigna's operations of its Parts C and D appeals and grievances, Part D formulary and benefit administration, and compliance program. Cigna is working to resolve these matters as quickly as possible and is cooperating fully with CMS on its review. Cigna is committed to its customers and ensuring that its customers have access to the quality healthcare, customer service and prescription drugs that they need."
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