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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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March 3, 2015
07:16 EDTHNT, HUMCowen to hold a conference
35th Annual Health Care Conference is being held in Boston on March 2-4 with webcasted company presentations to begin on March 3 at 8 am; not all company presentations may be webcasted. Webcast Link
March 2, 2015
07:20 EDTHNTCowen to hold a conference
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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 EDTHNT, WCG, CI, UNH, HUM, UAM, AETLeerink healthcare services analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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16:27 EDTUNH, WCG, HUMOn 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 EDTCI, AET, HNT, WCG, UNH, HUMOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:10 EDTAET, CI, HNT, WCG, HUM, 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.
09:33 EDTHUMHumana 'evaluating all operational avenues' after CMS notice
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09:03 EDTAETAetna sees preliminary CMS rates to lower funding for MA business 1% in 2016
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08:05 EDTWCG, UNH, AET, CI, HUM, HNTCMS releases preliminary Medicare Advantage rates for 2016
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February 20, 2015
08:41 EDTCI, UNH, AETInsurers should be bought on weakness related to MA rates, says BMO Capital
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February 19, 2015
10:42 EDTHUMHumana discloses DoJ Civil Division request for information
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February 18, 2015
16:51 EDTUAMUniversal American reports Q4 EPS less than (1c), consensus 1c
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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 EDTAET, WCG, HNT, CI, HUM, UNH, WLPObamacare enrollment exceeded goal, Politico reports
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