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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 2, 2013
10:02 EDTUAM, HBI, AZN, SMF, ROSE, UNH, GNC, FFIV, DLLR, EHTH, UPL, DVA, EBAY, CRFNOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: AstraZeneca (AZN) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan... DaVita (DVA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... GNC Holdings (GNC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Hanesbrands (HBI) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Qualcomm (QCOM) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... Ultra Petroleum (UPL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Brean Capital... UnitedHealth (UNH) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... Universal American (UAM) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James... eHealth (EHTH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital... Rosetta Resources (ROSE) upgraded to Focus List from Sector Perform at Howard Weil... Qualcomm (QCOM) upgraded at Raymond James... Crescent Financial (CRFN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond Jamesl... DFC Global (DLLR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Salient MLP & Energy Infrastructure (SMF) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... eBay (EBAY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Topeka... F5 Networks (FFIV) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird.
News For AZN;DVA;GNC;HBI;UPL;UNH;UAM;EHTH;ROSE;CRFN;DLLR;SMF;EBAY;FFIV From The Last 14 Days
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April 9, 2015
07:29 EDTUNHUnitedHealth April volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
UnitedHealth April call option implied volatility is at 34, May is at 25, June is at 21; compared to its 26-week average of 22 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q1 results on April 16.
April 8, 2015
12:29 EDTDVADaVita sees roughly $50M impact to FY16 operating income from Medicare rates
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11:08 EDTFFIVCybersecurity stocks in focus after White House security breach
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09:36 EDTFFIVSingtel acquires cybersecurity company Trustwave for $810M
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08:31 EDTHBIHanesbrands completes acquisition of Knights Apparel
HanesBrands has completed the acquisition of Knights Apparel, a seller of licensed collegiate logo apparel in the mass retail channel. The acquisition from Merit Capital Partners closed as expected on April 6 with the all-cash transaction valuing Knights at approximately $200M on an enterprise basis. Hanes will discuss the expected acquisition-related expenses and sales and profit contributions for 2015 on its first-quarter 2015 investor conference call anticipated to be held in late April. With the addition of Knights, Hanes expects annualized sales of licensed and graphic apparel of more than $450M with significant growth potential for college licensed brands. Hanes funded the acquisition with cash on hand and short-term borrowings on its revolving credit facility.
06:06 EDTAZNInovio selected by DARPA to lead $45M Ebola prevention program
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April 7, 2015
16:12 EDTAZNRegulus up 5% after RG-125 selected as clinical candidate by AstraZeneca
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16:12 EDTAZNRegulus RG-125 selected as clinical candidate by AstraZeneca
Regulus Therapeutics (RGLS) announced the selection of RG-12, a GalNAc-conjugated anti-miR targeting microRNA-103/107, or miR-103/107, for the treatment of Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis, or NASH, in patients with type 2 diabetes/pre-diabetes, as a clinical candidate by AstraZeneca (AZN) under the companies' strategic alliance to discover, develop and commercialize microRNA therapeutics. RG-125 is the first compound from the alliance to be selected for clinical development by AstraZeneca. In connection with the candidate selection, AstraZeneca will pay Regulus $2.5M and will assume development of the program following acceptance of an Investigational New Drug application. In the near term, Regulus and AstraZeneca plan to submit key preclinical data on the RG-125 program to be presented at a scientific meeting later this year and expect to initiate a Phase I study of RG-125 in humans by the end of 2015.
10:23 EDTUNHMedicare Advantage 2016 rates set above expectations
The U.S. yesterday announced higher than expected 2016 Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates. The news is seen as benefiting managed care companies with large exposure to the Medicare Advantage program. WHAT'S NEW: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, yesterday afternoon announced that Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates would rise 1.25% in 2016 from 2015 levels. In February, CMS proposed a 0.95% reduction in Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates for 2016. This year, reimbursement rates have fallen 4%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Humana (HUM) said this morning in a regulatory filing that based on its review of the Final Rate Notice, the company expects an average Medicare Advantage funding increase for its business of approximately 0.8% from CMS for 2016, versus a funding decline of 1.25%-1.75% previously expected based on the Advance Notice. Humana’s estimated year-over-year funding increase as it affects the company is projected to be less than the CMS estimate for the MA program primarily due to Humana’s view of the projected impact associated with CMS’ 2016 adjustment to the risk model calculation, the company explained. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today, Deutsche Bank analyst Scott Fidel wrote that this is the first time in seven years that CMS has implemented an increase in Medicare Advantage rates. However, noting that CMS said it had raised its estimates for Medicare costs, Fidel added that this forecast tempered the positive outlook created by the reimbursement increase. The analyst kept Buy ratings on the following stocks in the sector: Aetna (AET), Anthem (ANTM), Cigna (CI), Magellan Health (MGLN), and UnitedHealth (UNH). Stifel analysts said that the results were modestly better than expected, except for the agency's decision not to make a Star rating adjustment for plans with certain higher acuity populations. The firm thinks that more diversified managed care companies with Medicare Advantage products could be boosted by CMS' decision, identifying Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealth as being among the companies in that category. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Aetna was little changed at $107.40, Anthem was flat near $155 per share, Cigna slipped 0.4% to $131.34, Magellan was flat at $71, UnitedHealth added 0.5% to $118.31 and Humana gained fractionally to $178.54.
07:57 EDTUNHManaged care companies likely to rise on CMS news, says Oppenheimer
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07:44 EDTUNHSome managed care stocks could be boosted by CMS decision, says Stifel
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07:41 EDTUNH2016 MA rates positive for first time in seven years, says Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank notes that for the first time since 2009, Medicare Advantage rates will be positive after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced yesterday that final 2016 rates will rise by 1.25%, representing a 220 basis points favorable swing from the preliminary proposed cut of 0.95%. Deutsche says the positive surprise is "somewhat tempered" by the more cautious view on Medicare cost trends provided by the CMS actuaries in the final 2016 rate announcement. The firm expects Humana (HUM), Health Net (HNT) and UnitedHealth (UNH), Aetna (AET) and Anthem (ANTM) to experience Medicare Advantage rate increases.
07:14 EDTAZNEyeforpharma to hold a summit
Philadelphia 2015 Commercial Pharma Summit is being held in Philadelphia on April 7-8.
06:02 EDTDVAFinal Medicare Advantage rates better for DaVita, says Wells Fargo
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05:48 EDTUNHCatamaran downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
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April 6, 2015
13:12 EDTUNHCatamaran purchase expected to clear antitrust hurdles, CT Financial News says
Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth (UNH), is expected to face close scrutiny by regulators over its proposed acquisition of Catamaran (CTRX) and its pharmacy benefits management unit, but the deal is likely to be approved by regulators, CT Financial News reports, adding that the prospective deal could start a wave of consolidation among PBMs. Norm Smith, president and founder of health care research firm Viewpoint Consulting, believes the ultimate beneficiaries of the OptumRx/Catamaran deal will be consumers and health insurers. Reference Link
09:25 EDTEBAYeBay threatened by merchant satisfaction with Amazon, Bloomberg says
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07:57 EDTUNHLeerink healthcare services analyst holds analyst/industry conference call
Healthcare Services Analyst Gupte discusses the leverage Anthem likely has in its Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) contract with Express Scripts and how it changes after the Catamaran-Optum Rx deal, the synergy potential for the deal between Catamaran and Optum Rx and the likelihood of Cigna-HS remaining with the newly merged Optum Rx-CTRX on an Analyst/Industry conference call to be held on April 6 at 2 pm.
06:03 EDTEBAYUber hires Facebook's Joe Sullivan as Chief Security Officer
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April 5, 2015
09:06 EDTUNHUnitedHealth looks expensive, Barron's says
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