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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 4, 2013
09:21 EDTVCRA, MRGE, UNH, ATHN, MCKBarclays to host events at HIMSS 2013
Company events being held in conjunction with HIMSS 2013 in New Orleans on March 4-5.
News For MRGE;MCK;UNH;VCRA;ATHN From The Last 14 Days
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February 26, 2015
11:11 EDTMRGEMerge Healthcare falls after revenue misses, acquisition made
Shares of Merge Healthcare (MRGE) are falling this morning after the company reported its fourth quarter results last night and also disclosed its deal to acquire a privately-held medical imaging information systems company. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Merge reported Q4 pro forma revenue of $53.7M, which was below the $56.4M consensus expectation, and adjusted earnings per share of 5c, which was a penny above the 4c consensus forecast. The company also announced the recent acquisition of DR Systems for $70M. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Merge's non-GAAP adjusted EPS in 2015 and future years, the company said. ANALYST OPINION: IN a note to investors after the quarterly report, William Blair said it was disappointed that Merge did not provide 2015 guidance or end-of-year backlog results. The firm believes the larger footprint from the DR Systems deal will benefit the company’s cloud strategy and that DR's highly-ranked products should increase mindshare, but noted that it awaits commentary on the company’s organic growth outlook to fully evaluate the deal. The firm has a Market Perform rating on Merge Healthcare shares. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, shares of Merge Healthcare are down 65c, or 14.4%, to $3.85.
February 25, 2015
18:11 EDTMRGEMerge Healthcare acquires DR Systems
Merge Healthcare acquired DR Systems, a privately held San Diego-based medical imaging information systems company. DR Systems founder, chairman, and CEO Murray Reicher, M.D., will assume the role of Chief Medical Officer of Merge Healthcare. Dr. Following the acquisition, support for DR Systems' core platform will remain in place. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Merge's adjusted EPS in 2015 and future years. Merge Healthcare financed the acquisition through a combination of approximately $20M of cash on hand and $50M of cash raised from the sale of shares of newly issued convertible preferred stock, at a $4.14 per share common equivalent calculated based on Merge's 30-day volume weighted average common stock price, to a group of investors arranged by Guggenheim Corporate Funding, the agent under Merge's existing credit facility.
February 23, 2015
19:40 EDTUNHLeerink healthcare services analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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16:27 EDTUNHOn 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 EDTUNHOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:10 EDTUNHHealth 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.
08:05 EDTUNHCMS releases preliminary Medicare Advantage rates for 2016
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February 20, 2015
08:41 EDTUNHInsurers should be bought on weakness related to MA rates, says BMO Capital
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February 18, 2015
06:56 EDTUNHObamacare enrollment exceeded goal, Politico reports
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