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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 29, 2013
07:45 EDTFISV, CYN, UNH, C, FITB, BK, MAStrategic Solutions Network to host a summit
Healthcare Payments Innovations Summit is being held in Tempe, Arizona on January 28-29.
News For UNH;MA;FITB;CYN;BK;C;FISV From The Last 14 Days
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April 9, 2015
09:21 EDTUNHCatamaran said to be likley to keep Cigna contract, CT Financial News reports
Brain Tanquilut, senior VP, Healthcare Services Equity Research at Jefferies, believes there is "precedent out there that suggests Catamaran’s (CTRX) contract with Cigna (CI) "is safe” despite UnitedHealth's (UNH) recent deal to buy the pharmacy benefits manager, according to CT Financial News. Reference Link
07:35 EDTCFitch Ratings to hold a webcast
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07:29 EDTUNHUnitedHealth April volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
UnitedHealth April call option implied volatility is at 34, May is at 25, June is at 21; compared to its 26-week average of 22 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q1 results on April 16.
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
06:22 EDTFITBFifth Third initiated with a Buy at Evercore ISI
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April 8, 2015
16:01 EDTCActionable Options for Wednesday, April, 8
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06:30 EDTMACapital One remains top card issuer pick at Citigroup
In its preview of Q1 results, Citigroup says Capital One (COF) remains its top pick among the card issuers given the company's "strong" card loan growth, capital return and "reasonable" valuation. Citi keeps a Buy rating on the stock with a $95 price target. The firm continues to see a "modestly" improving U.S. consumer, and also has Buy ratings on American Express (AXP), Discover (DFS), MasterCard (MA), Synchrony Financial (SYF) and Visa (V). Citi thinks investor sentiment has become more negative for card issuers around provisioning for loan growth with the group posting mixed stock performance thus far in 2015.
April 7, 2015
16:00 EDTCOptions Update; April 7, 2015
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14:07 EDTBKMarcato believes BNY Mellon 'falling far short of its potential'
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11:02 EDTCAmerican Express slips after analyst, columnist highlight challenges
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10:23 EDTUNHMedicare 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.
07:57 EDTUNHManaged care companies likely to rise on CMS news, says Oppenheimer
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07:44 EDTUNHSome managed care stocks could be boosted by CMS decision, says Stifel
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07:41 EDTUNH2016 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
05:48 EDTUNHCatamaran downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
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April 6, 2015
19:33 EDTCRegulators enter headquarters of Citibank Argentina, Reuters says
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13:12 EDTUNHCatamaran purchase expected to clear antitrust hurdles, CT Financial News says
Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth (UNH), is expected to face close scrutiny by regulators over its proposed acquisition of Catamaran (CTRX) and its pharmacy benefits management unit, but the deal is likely to be approved by regulators, CT Financial News reports, adding that the prospective deal could start a wave of consolidation among PBMs. Norm Smith, president and founder of health care research firm Viewpoint Consulting, believes the ultimate beneficiaries of the OptumRx/Catamaran deal will be consumers and health insurers. Reference Link
09:02 EDTMABrink's, NetSpend launch Brink's prepaid MasterCard
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07:57 EDTUNHLeerink 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.
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