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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
October 15, 2012
12:31 EDTHUM, AEGR, SFTBF, AMED, YONG, CLWR, DCTH, C, SOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday following a report that showed surprisingly strong retail sales in September. The averages started out slightly higher and seemed to have trouble gaining any upside momentum in the early hours of trading. The reaction to the better than expected retails sales figures seemed to be muted by the disappointing Empire manufacturing data. Following the report on August business inventories the averages actually crossed into negative territory, before reversing and drifting higher. The averages stood near session highs around noon as this week begins more positively for the markets than last week... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales rose 1.1% in September, versus expectations for an increase of 0.8%. The core reading, minus auto and gas components, increased 0.9%, versus expectations for a 0.4% gain. The Empire Manufacturing Index had a reading of -6.16, versus expectations for a reading of -4.0. Business inventories reportedly increased 0.6% in August, versus expectations for an increase of 0.5%. In China, a raft of data was reported over the weekend, including better than expected export numbers. Chinese export growth accelerated to 9.9% and import growth accelerated to 2.4%, but some irregularities kept investors and analysts cautious about the results. Also, China's consumer-price index eased in line with expectations and a gauge of producer prices showed a steepening drop, fueling speculation that the government may take further monetary stimulus action... COMPANY NEWS: Japan's SoftBank (SFTBF) confirmed a deal to purchase a 70% stake in Sprint (S) for about $20B. Shares of Sprint were down fractionally after the details of the previously speculated arrangement were publicized. However, moving up again were shares of Sprint partner Clearwire (CLWR), which rose 11% though Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said he would not speculate on what Sprint will do with its new-found financial flexibility... Shares of Citigroup (C) jumped nearly 5% as its third quarter earnings beat expectations after its write down of the value of its remaining stake in Smith Barney and some other adjustments were excluded... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Yongye International (YONG), up 17% following its receipt of "going private" proposal at $6.60 per share, and Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (AEGR), up 9% after the FDA posted briefing documents for a panel's upcoming review of one of the company's drugs. Among the noteworthy losers was Delcath Systems (DCTH), down over 18% after the FDA accepted the company's New Drug Application for its chemosaturation system and designated the NDA for standard review. Also lower were shares of Amedisys (AMED), down 9% after the company signed a new agreement with Humana (HUM) to provide home health services but under a revised reimbursement scheme from their prior arrangement... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 67.40, or 0.51%, to 13,396.25; the Nasdaq was up 9.07, or 0.30%, to 3,053.18; and the S&P 500 was up 6.88, or 0.48%, to 1,435.47.
News For S;CLWR;SFTBF;C;YONG;AEGR;DCTH;AMED;HUM From The Last 14 Days
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April 9, 2015
11:02 EDTSSprint to open 1,435 Sprint-RadioShack stores tomorrow
Sprint says it will more than double its company-owned retail footprint tomorrow by opening 1,435 Sprint-RadioShack stores. In last week’s transaction, General Wireless, an affiliate of Standard General LP, acquired 1,743 RadioShack stores. Sprint has agreed with Standard General to be co-tenants in 1,435 of those stores, with Sprint being the primary brand in marketing materials and signage. Sprint will occupy roughly one third of the retail space at these existing RadioShack locations. The phone carrier added, "The expansion of Sprint’s retail stores also means significant opportunities for the company to invest in local communities by adding nearly 3,500 new jobs. In the coming months, Sprint will actively recruit a skilled workforce to fill quality full- and part-time positions, helping to make local communities stronger."
07:35 EDTCFitch Ratings to hold a webcast
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06:57 EDTCCitibank sued by Argentina over deal with creditors, Reuters reports
Citibank Argentina has been sued by Argentina over what it says is an illegal deal with a group of creditors in conflict with the government over unpaid debt, Reuters reports. Citigroup says it is "disappointed" by Argentina's legal actions and has denied violating laws. Reference Link
April 8, 2015
16:01 EDTCActionable Options for Wednesday, April, 8
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06:06 EDTSFTBF, SSoftbank downsizing Silicon Valley presence, WSJ reports
SoftBank (SFTBF) has reduced its presence in Silicon Valley, relocating some employees to Japan and subsidiary Sprint's (S) headquarters in Kansas, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move to downsize comes after Sprint's failed bid to acquire T-Mobile US (TMUS) last year. Reference Link
April 7, 2015
16:00 EDTCOptions Update; April 7, 2015
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11:02 EDTCAmerican Express slips after analyst, columnist highlight challenges
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10:23 EDTHUMMedicare 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.
09:02 EDTAMEDAmedisys names Dan McCoy as COO, Martin Howard as CIO
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08:57 EDTHUMHumana sees average Medicare Advantage funding from CMS up 0.8% for 2016
Humana noted that on Monday, April 6, after the market close, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, announced final 2016 Medicare benchmark payment rates and related technical factors impacting the bid benchmark premiums, as expected, following the February 20 release of the preliminary 2016 Medicare Advantage benchmark payment rates. Humana said in its regulatory filing that based on its review of the Final Rate Notice, Humana 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. The Final Rate Notice from CMS estimates an average funding increase of 1.25% for the MA program, versus its estimate of a funding decline of 0.95% per 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 is completing more detailed analyses of the Final Rate Notice and the commensurate impacts on its 2016 Medicare benefit offerings, including geographic-specific impacts, and anticipates further discussion in its Q1 earnings call on April 29. Bid designs for the company’s 2016 Medicare Advantage offerings are due to CMS on June 1, the company noted.
08:33 EDTDCTHDelcath Systems expands global Phase 2 program for treatment of HCC
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08:20 EDTHUMCowen expects managed care stocks to outperform following CMS release
Cowen expects managed care stocks to outperform today following the CMS release outlining better than expected Medicare Advantage rates for 2016. The firm also sees improved FFS growth rates, maintained coding intensity adjustment, and continued HRA payments. Publicly traded companies in the space include Aetna (AET), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Humana (HUM), and WellCare (WCG).
07:57 EDTHUMManaged care companies likely to rise on CMS news, says Oppenheimer
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07:44 EDTHUMSome managed care stocks could be boosted by CMS decision, says Stifel
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07:41 EDTHUM2016 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.
07:16 EDTCRising competition may make AmEx targets hard to achieve, WSJ says
Though American Express recently reaffirmed its long-term targets for growing revenue 8% per year or better and earnings per share by 12%-15% per year while increasing operating expenses by less than 3% per year, there are good reasons to be skeptical about its ability to hit those targets, according to The Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street" column. Competition from peer Visa (V) as well as big banks such as Citi (C) and Bank of America (BAC) may put pressure on AmEx’s margins and it is not safe to assume that the company will always fare as well on the Fed's stress tests as it just did, the report stated. Reference Link
April 6, 2015
19:33 EDTCRegulators enter headquarters of Citibank Argentina, Reuters says
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17:19 EDTAMEDAmedisys Chief Medical Officer Fleming to depart
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07:57 EDTHUMLeerink 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.
06:45 EDTSQualcomm downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
FBR Capital downgraded Qualcomm (QCOM) to Market Perform, removed the stock from its Top Picks list and dropped its price target for shares to $72 from $80. FBR said the moves were prompted by a posting on AT&T's (T) website which said the carrier’s version of the GS6 smarphone is powered by the Samsung Exynos 7420 processor with a Shannon 333 modem as opposed to Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform. FBR still expects the Verizon (VZ) and Sprint (S) GS6 versions to sport Qualcomm modems, but it believes the change at AT&T signals Samsung’s "clear intent to utilize proprietary baseband whenever and wherever possible." Shares of chip maker Qualcomm closed Thursday down $1.46 to $67.97.
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