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February 21, 2014
06:50 EDTCI, HS, MOH, UNH, WCG, AGP, AET, HUM, WLP, CNC, HNTObama says nearly 4M have signed up for Obamacare plans, The Hill says
Almost 4M Americans have signed up for health insurance on Obamacare exchanges, President Obama said yesterday, according to The Hill. Last Wednesday, the government said that just under 3.3M Americans had enrolled in such plans, the website noted, adding that Obama's statement may indicate that enrollment in the plans is accelerating. Publicly traded health insurance companies include AMERIGROUP (AGP), Aetna (AET), Centene (CNC), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Healthspring (HS), Humana (HUM), Molina Healthcare (MOH), UnitedHealth (UNH), WellCare (WCG) and WellPoint (WLP). Reference Link
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November 19, 2015
10:58 EDTUNH, HUM, CI, AETAnalysts say possible exchange exit positive for battered UnitedHealth
The shares of health insurer UnitedHealth (UNH) and a number of other companies in the sector are falling after the Dow member lowered its fiscal 2015 profit guidance, citing weakness in individual health insurance policies it markets through exchanges. WHAT'S NEW: UnitedHealth lowered its fiscal 2015 earnings per share guidance to $6 from $6.25-$6.35. Analysts' consensus estimate was $6.31. The company identified policies sold to individuals through exchanges as the culprit. UnitedHealth said it expects to lose 26c per share on these policies in 2015 and 2016. The insurer stated that its other businesses were performing in-line with expectations and showing strength. UnitedHealth said it has pulled back on its marketing efforts for individual exchange products in 2016 and indicated that it would consider offering fewer individual policies through exchanges in 2017. UnitedHealth provided fiscal 2016 EPS guidance of $7.10-$7.30, versus the consensus outlook of $7.28. ANALYST REACTION: Any weakness in UnitedHealth and other health insurers today on the news from UnitedHealth creates a strong buying opportunity, Leerink Swann analyst Ana Gupte wrote in a note to investors today. The government will either reform the exchanges to make them more profitable for the insurers or they will exit the market, Gupte predicted. Moreover, the downside risk for health insurers Aetna (AET), Anthem (ANTM), Humana (HUM), and Cigna (CI) from today's news are low, since their Q3 and 2016 outlooks already incorporated the negative trends cited by UnitedHealth, the analyst stated. Mizuho Securities analyst Sheryl Skolnick was more cautious, predicting that the news would "rattle" the health insurance sector. United Health is more "insulated" than its peers from the weakness of the exchanges because its exposure to the market is relatively limited and its business is more diversified than that of its peers, according to Skolnick, who kept a $150 price target and Buy rating on the stock. Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Wieland says UnitedHealth reducing its exchange exposure should be accretive to shareholder value. The company's participation in exchanges is not essential to its growth strategy, according to Wieland. The issues cited for the guidance cut likely applies to all Managed Care companies, therefore UnitedHealth should outperform peers given its limited exposure to exchanges, contends Wieland, who reiterated an Overweight rating on the stock with a $149 price target. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, UnitedHealth fell 4% to $112.49, Aetna declined 4.4% to $102.18, Humana gave back 2.4% to $167, Anthem fell 6.6% to $128.20, and Cigna slid 3.8% to $130.
10:39 EDTUNHUnitedHealth growth not dependent on exchanges, says Piper Jaffray
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10:23 EDTHNT, AET, UNH, HUM, CI, MOH, CNCUnitedHealth selloff on guidance presents buying opportunity, says Leerink
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10:00 EDTUNHUnitedHealth pulls back on marketing efforts for individual exchange programs
UnitedHealthcare announced it has pulled back on its marketing efforts for individual exchange products in 2016. The company is evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017.
09:16 EDTUNHUnitedHealth falls on FY15 guidance
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07:46 EDTCNC, CI, HNT, HUM, WCG, UNH, AETOptions expected to be active; UNH AET ANTM CI WCG HUM HNT CNC
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06:40 EDTUNHUnitedHealth volatility flat into lowering FY15 guidance
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06:11 EDTUNHUnitedHealth to host conference call
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05:59 EDTUNHUnitedHealth cuts FY15 to $6.00 from $6.25-$6.35
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05:57 EDTUNHUnitedHealth sees FY16 EPS $7.10-$7.30, consensus $7.28
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November 18, 2015
17:51 EDTMOHMolina Healthcare subsidiary selected for Medicaid contract awards in Washington
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15:40 EDTUNHCongressman says U.S. may need look at pharmacy competition, dealReporter says
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November 17, 2015
09:05 EDTUNHOptumRx acquires AxelaCare
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08:04 EDTWCGStifel to hold a conference
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November 16, 2015
09:59 EDTCIOmega bought Valeant in Q3, sold some SuneEdison
Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning, disclosing its positions as of September 30. NEW STAKES: Pfizer (PFE), Valeant (VRX) Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), TerraForm Global (GLBL), Cigna (CI). INCREASED STAKES: Google Class A (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Delta Air Lines (DAL). DECREASED STAKES: SunEdison (SUNE), Shire (SHPG), Citi (C), KAR Auction (KAR), LyondellBasell (LYB). LIQUIDATED STAKES: McKesson (MCK), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), General Motors (GM), QEP Resources (QEP), eBay (EBAY).
09:06 EDTUNHDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
06:02 EDTCIAnthem announces ISS recommends shareholders vote "For" Cigna acquisition
Anthem (ANTM) announced that Institutional Shareholder Services has issued a report recommending that Anthem shareholders vote to approve the issuance of Anthem stock in the proposed acquisition of Cigna (CI) at the company's special meeting of shareholders to be held on Thursday, December 3, 2015. Anthem's board unanimously recommends that Anthem shareholders vote "FOR" the proposal to issue Anthem common stock to acquire Cigna, which is necessary to complete the transaction.
November 12, 2015
07:01 EDTMOHMolina Healthcare acquires Medicaid Assets of CUP in Washington
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November 11, 2015
14:34 EDTCI, HUM, AETAMA voices 'significant concerns' with insurers' proposed mergers
The American Medical Association, in a letter to the Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, stated that its analyses of the proposed health insurance mergers, namely Aetna's (AET) proposed acquisition of Humana (HUM) and Anthem's (ANTM) proposed acquisition of Cigna (CI), "reveal significant concerns with respect to the impact on consumers in terms of health care access, quality, and affordability." Accordingly, the AMA urges the Department of Justice to block the proposed mergers, the group stated.
14:25 EDTHUM, AETAMA urges DOJ to block Humana, Aetna deal, Bloomberg says
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