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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 20, 2014
10:00 EDTWCG, AET, CIWellCare climbs after analyst says takeover probable
Shares of health insurer WellCare (WCG) are advancing after research firm Leerink wrote that the company is likely to be acquired and upgraded the stock. WHAT'S NEW: WellCare will probably be acquired in the next 18-24 months, Leerink analyst Ana Gupte wrote in a note to investors earlier today. The companies most likely to buy WellCare are Aetna (AET) and Cigna (CI), forecast Gupte after meeting with WellCare's management. The possibility of a takeover will keep WellCare from dropping significantly, while its medium-term outlook is "compelling," the analyst believes. Meanwhile, in 2015, the insurer should benefit from positive Medicare Advantage enrollment trends, wrote Gupte, who finds the stock's valuation compelling. The analyst upgraded the stock to Outperform from Market Perform and has a $74 price target on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On February 27, Credit Suisse upgraded WellCare to Outperform from Neutral, citing what it saw as the stock's favorable risk/reward ratio, along with favorable Medicaid and Medicare growth trends. The stock will be supported by a potential acquisition, the firm added. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, WellCare climbed $1.57, or 2.4%, to $66.90.
News For WCG;AET;CI From The Last 14 Days
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July 28, 2014
09:17 EDTWCGOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:17 EDTWCGMCO sell-off provides buying opportunity, says Leerink
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07:12 EDTWCGWellCare upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
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06:53 EDTWCGWellCare upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee
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July 25, 2014
16:18 EDTWCGOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:51 EDTWCGOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday and on track to end a week marked by a torrent of earnings reports on a definite down note. Some high-profile disappointments weighed on the major averages, as Visa (V) and Amazon.com (AMZN) both fell significantly after their quarterly reports last night, dragging on the Dow and Nasdaq, respectively. The domestic economic calendarís sole release of consequence, the durable goods orders report, came out before the open and was better than expected, but that did little to brighten the market's negative tone. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., durable goods orders rebounded 0.7% in June after a 1.0% decline in the prior month, beating expectations for June increase of 0.5%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Amazon.com fell 10% after the e-commerce giant reported in-line second quarter revenue but a much higher than expected loss. A number of analysts responded to the news by downgrading the stock, while several others cut their price targets on the shares... Visa reported Q3 earnings per share and revenue that topped consensus forecasts, but its fiscal year EPS growth outlook was trimmed its fiscal year revenue growth view to be in the 9-10% range from its prior forecast for low double-digit constant revenue growth in the 10-11% range. Shares of the Dow Jones Industrial Average component slid 4% following the report and guidance. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their earnings reports were Datalink (DTLK), which jumped 17%, Mellanox (MLNX), which rose 13%, and VeriSign (VRSN), which gained 11%. Among the noteworthy losers was WellCare (WCG), which plunged 20% after the managed care company pre-announced significantly weaker than expected results. Also lower following their earnings reports were Swift Transport (SWFT), which fell nearly 15%, and Pandora (P), which dropped about 13%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 131.61, or 0.77%, to 16,952.19, the Nasdaq was down 24.45, or 0.55%, to 4,447.66, and the S&P 500 was down 9.04, or 0.45%, to 1,978.94.
12:11 EDTCI, WCG, AETWellCare profit warning sinks managed care names
A number of managed care names are falling after one of the companies in the sector, WellCare (WCG), preannounced significantly weaker than expected results. UBS, however, recommends using the weakness in the sector as a buying opportunity. WHAT'S NEW: WellCare, which specializes in managing Medicaid and Medicare plans, preannounced a second quarter per share loss of 7c, excluding certain items. Analysts on average expected the company to report a per share profit of 90c. The company's revenue came in slightly above expectations. WellCare cut its full-year earnings per share guidance to $2.20-$2.50 from $4.40-$4.75. The company said recipients of a new Medicaid program in Florida utilized more medical services than expected since the company began administering the program in May. Additionally, the company took an impairment charge related to an acquisition and it had an unfavorable reserve development. ANALYST REACTION: The factors cited by WellCare for the cut in its guidance appear to be specific to that company, UBS analyst A.J. Rice wrote. Meanwhile, data from other companies that administer Medicaid plans indicate that the increased utilization costs in that state are also specific to WellCare, Rice contended. For example, Centene (CNC) reported Q2 results earlier this week and indicated that utilization trends for newly covered beneficiaries in Florida was largely in line with expectations, while UnitedHealth (UNH) said its Medicaid business had performed well last quarter, the analyst stated. Additionally, WellCare said that its higher than expected medical utilization costs had been caused primarily by drug costs that exceeded its forecast, Rice stated. Since drug costs tend to be known relatively quickly, United Health and Centene would have divulged any issues with drug costs in conjunction with their Q2 results, Rice said. The analyst recommended that investors buy Aetna (AET), Cigna (CI), United Health and WellPoint (WLP) on any weakness today. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Aetna fell 1.5% to $83, Cigna lost 1% to $95.50, UnitedHealth lost 1% to $84.50, WellPoint slid 1.5% to $113.50 and Centene tumbled 7% to $74 while WellCare plunged 19% to $62.
10:52 EDTAET, CI, WCGWellCare issues largely company-specific, says UBS
UBS notes that aside from WellCare (WCG), which attributed its lowered guidance to the start-up of its Florida MMA program and other issues, that Centene (CNC), WellPoint (WLP), UnitedHealth (UNH) and Humana (HUM) are the leaders in Medicaid in the state. However, the firm believes a majority of WellCare's issues appear company specific and UBS views any weakness in UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna (AET), or Cigna (CI) as opportunity to buy those four stocks, on all of which it has Buy ratings.
10:02 EDTWCGOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:25 EDTWCGOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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07:24 EDTWCGWellCare downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo downgraded WellCare to Market Perform citing less confidence in management and weaker than expected performance in the new Florida Medicaid business following the company's Q2 results. Wells lowered its price target range for shares to $54-$58 from $83-$89.
07:22 EDTWCGCentene downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
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07:00 EDTWCGWellCare downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
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06:40 EDTWCGWellCare downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
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July 24, 2014
18:15 EDTWCGWellCare down 20% after Q2 earnings and lowering FY14 guidance
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18:13 EDTWCGWellCare lowers FY14 EPS guidance to $2.20-$2.50 from $4.40-$4.75
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18:09 EDTWCGWellCare reports Q2 adjusted EPS (7c), may not compare to consensus 90c
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06:50 EDTAET, WCG, CIConsumers received $9B in refunds from health insurers, The Hill says
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July 22, 2014
13:46 EDTAET, WCG, CICourt upholds Obamacare subsidies, NY Times says
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10:43 EDTWCG, AET, CIAppeals court bars subsidies in health care law
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down part of President Obama's healthcare law by siding today with plaintiffs who argued that the law barred the government from giving subsidies to people in states that chose not to set up their own insurance marketplaces. The appeals court stated, "Because we conclude that the ACA unambiguously restricts the section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges 'established by the State,' we reverse the district court and vacate the IRSís regulation." Twenty-seven states decided against setting up marketplaces, and another nine states partially opted out, according to the Washington Post.
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