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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 21, 2014
11:30 EDTMOH, WLP, CI, ESRX, CNCAnalyst sees Express Scripts benefiting from WellPoint member growth
After health insurer WellPoint (WLP) estimated that the number of people using its health insurance would rise by 1M-1.3M this year, Citigroup expects Express scripts to benefit from the increase. WHAT'S NEW: WellPoint announced that it expects its medical member base to rise by 1M-1.3M in 2014. The company also increased its 2014 earnings per share guidance to at least $8.20 per share, up from $8. In a note to investors earlier today, Citigroup analyst Garen Sarafian wrote that WellPoint had increased the outlook for its medical membership base from previous levels and that the insurer now predicts that the number of its medical members will rise by 3%-4% in 2014. Express Scripts, which provides pharmacy benefit management services for WellPoint, obtained over 12% of its 2013 revenue from WellPoint, the analyst stated. WellPoint's stronger than expected growth could lift Express Script's 2014 earnings per share by up to 7c, wrote Sarafian. He kept a $92 price target and Buy rating on Express Script. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Express Scripts lost 0,4% to $77.65 and WellPoint added 0.7% to $100.45. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Other health insurers are rising in the wake of WellPoint's announcement, with Centene (CNC), Cigna (CI), and Molina (MOH) all higher by about 1%.
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14:53 EDTESRXCVS Express Scripts implementing drug price controls, says Cleveland Research
Cleveland Research believes that CVS (CVS) and Express scripts are implementing rebates and price controls on drug. The firm expects the companies to increase their focus on controlling durg prices next year, and adds that they have already itnroduced prior authorization criteria for hepatitis drug. Publicly traded drug companies include AstraZeneca (AZN), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), Novartis (NVS), Pfizer (PFE), Roche (RHHBY) and Sanofi (SNY). Makers of hepatits c drugs include AbbVie (ABBV) and Gilead (GILD),
08:04 EDTWLPWellPoint, Boehringer Ingelheim announce first project under collaboration
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, WellPoint and HealthCore, announced that the companies are commencing a research project to identify and address unmet medical needs across populations of mutual interest. The first stage of the project will focus on non-valvular atrial fibrillation and will examine disease prevalence, treatment complications, such as hospital readmissions, and the use of evidence-based guidelines. This project is the first under the parties’ five-year research collaboration agreement, signed earlier this year. Information gathered through the NVAF project is intended to provide the basis for the collaborative development of healthcare interventions, which can be evaluated within WellPoint’s affiliated health plans and provider networks.

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