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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 3, 2013
05:50 EDTWLP, AET, UNH, HNTManaged Care sector downgraded to Neutral at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating on the Managed Care sector to Neutral from Positive citing higher underwriting risks and a lack of catalysts. The firm downgraded shares of UnitedHealth (UNH) and Wellpoint (WLP) to Hold from Buy, upgraded shares of Health Net (HNT) to Hold from Sell, and kept a Buy rating on shares of Aetna (AET), its top pick in the space.
News For UNH;WLP;HNT;AET From The Last 14 Days
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March 6, 2015
07:23 EDTUNHUnitedHealth upgraded at Sterne Agee
As previously reported, Sterne Agee upgraded UnitedHealth to Neutral from Underperform. The firm views UnitedHealth as a great company with great management but looks for a better entry point before becoming more constructive. Price target raised to $126 from $105.
06:20 EDTUNHUnitedHealth upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee
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March 5, 2015
11:58 EDTAETHealthCare USA wins MO HealthNet managed care contract
HealthCare USA of Missouri, an Aetna health plan that administers managed Medicaid services for MO HealthNet, has been selected by the Missouri Office of Administration, Division of Purchasing and Materials Management, to continue to provide access to health care for eligible Missourians. The new three-year contract is scheduled to take effect July 1.
07:56 EDTAET, HNTLeerink more bullish on Managed Care after SCOTUS arguments
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March 4, 2015
09:54 EDTAETAetna not reimbursing Exact Sciences for more than what law requires, says Maxim
Maxim said it views Exact Sciences' (EXAS) pact with Aetna (AET) for coverage for the Cologuard test for Medicare Advantage members as an incremental positive and the firm expects other insurers to follow Aetna's lead. However, the firm thinks the announcement indicates Exact Sciences has had talks with Aetna about reimbursement, but the insurer still isn't reimbursing for anything more than what the law requires of them. Maxim recommends shares be sold on the strength and reiterates its Sell rating on Exact Sciences.
08:31 EDTUNHInsperity forms broker alliance with UnitedHealth
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08:17 EDTUNHUnitedHealth management to meet with Deutsche Bank
Meeting to be held in Kansas City, MO on March 4 hosted by Deutsche Bank.
07:57 EDTAETExact Sciences says Aetna Medicare Advantage to cover Cologuard
Exact Sciences (EXAS) announced that Aetna (AET) will cover Cologuard under its Medicare Advantage plan, reaching 967,000 members across the country. The three year agreement will go into effect on April 1. Cologuard is the first and only FDA approved noninvasive stool-based DNA screening test for colon cancer. The test will be available to Aetna’s Medicare Advantage members through their physician without a co-payment or co-insurance.
06:39 EDTAET, UNH, HNTNo preparations under way for elimination of some subsidies, NY Times says
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March 3, 2015
08:02 EDTUNHUnitedHealth management to meet with Deutsche Bank
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07:16 EDTHNTCowen to hold a conference
35th Annual Health Care Conference is being held in Boston on March 2-4 with webcasted company presentations to begin on March 3 at 8 am; not all company presentations may be webcasted. Webcast Link
March 2, 2015
07:20 EDTHNTCowen to hold a conference
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February 24, 2015
13:23 EDTAETAetna, Virtua Medical Group expand relationship
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February 23, 2015
19:40 EDTAET, UNH, HNTLeerink 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 EDTHNT, AET, UNHOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:10 EDTAET, HNT, UNHHealth 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.
09:03 EDTAETAetna sees preliminary CMS rates to lower funding for MA business 1% in 2016
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08:05 EDTAET, UNH, HNTCMS releases preliminary Medicare Advantage rates for 2016
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February 20, 2015
08:41 EDTUNH, AETInsurers should be bought on weakness related to MA rates, says BMO Capital
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