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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 14, 2013
19:35 EDTCICigna shares could climb 20%, Barron's says
Cigna, which is up more than 50% in the past 12 months, may climb another 20% if it trades closer to 12 times earnings, which it has done in the past, says Barron's Weekday Trader. The report cites Don Wordell, manager of the RidgeWorth Mid-Cap Value Equity fund, who says Cigna's story gets better and better as the company shores up its balance sheet with smart acquisitions and the divestiture of non-core businesses. Reference Link
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July 25, 2014
12:11 EDTCIWellCare 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.
10:52 EDTCIWellCare issues largely company-specific, says UBS
UBS notes that aside from WellCare (WCG), which attributed its lowered guidance to the start-up of its Florida MMA program and other issues, that Centene (CNC), WellPoint (WLP), UnitedHealth (UNH) and Humana (HUM) are the leaders in Medicaid in the state. However, the firm believes a majority of WellCare's issues appear company specific and UBS views any weakness in UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna (AET), or Cigna (CI) as opportunity to buy those four stocks, on all of which it has Buy ratings.
July 24, 2014
06:50 EDTCIConsumers received $9B in refunds from health insurers, The Hill says
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July 22, 2014
13:46 EDTCICourt upholds Obamacare subsidies, NY Times says
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10:43 EDTCIAppeals court bars subsidies in health care law
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down part of President Obama's healthcare law by siding today with plaintiffs who argued that the law barred the government from giving subsidies to people in states that chose not to set up their own insurance marketplaces. The appeals court stated, "Because we conclude that the ACA unambiguously restricts the section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges 'established by the State,' we reverse the district court and vacate the IRSís regulation." Twenty-seven states decided against setting up marketplaces, and another nine states partially opted out, according to the Washington Post.

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