Fri, Nov. 20, 7:11 PM
- Shares of health insurance companies rebounded today after several major insurers issued reassuring statements that their profits were on track, a day after UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) cut its 2015 forecast, reported deep losses from its Affordable Care Act exchange business and said it will decide next year whether it wants to continue in that market.
- Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) backed their profit outlooks for the year and said their individual commercial businesses were performing within expectations.
- Leerink analyst Ana Gupte reiterated Outperform ratings on AET and ANTM, saying both companies' reaffirmation of 2015 EPS guidance - $7.45-$7.55 for AET, and $10.10-$10.20 for ANTM - met her expectations.
- Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) said it is seeing profits on its exchange business, and CEO Mario Molina said the company was not seeing the issues UNH had raised.
- Centene (NYSE:CNC) also backed its outlook and said its marketplace business is performing as expected.
Thu, Nov. 19, 3:01 PM
- Medical insurers and managed care providers are taking it on the chin today. UnitedHealth Group (UNH -5.5%) brought the rain with its softer earnings guidance as a result of weaker demand for individual insurance purchased through exchanges. It seems that the premium hikes, which the Affordable Care Act was supposed to curtail, are having their predictable effect.
- Previously: UnitedHealth Group down 6% on lowered guidance (Nov. 19)
- Related tickers: (AET -7.3%)(CI -5.7%)(HUM -4.2%)(CNC -9%)(ANTM -6.8%)(WCG -4.6%)(MGLN -4.4%)(HNT -5.2%)
Thu, Oct. 29, 12:03 PM
Thu, Oct. 29, 6:04 AM
Wed, Oct. 28, 5:30 PM
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Mon, Oct. 19, 4:52 PM| Mon, Oct. 19, 4:52 PM | Comment!
Mon, Oct. 19, 3:05 AM
- Shareholders will get their say this week on two proposed health insurer mergers: Aetna's (NYSE:AET) $37B offer for Humana (NYSE:HUM), and Centene's (NYSE:CNC) $6.3B bid for Health Net (NYSE:HNT).
- Although consumer advocates have raised concerns about whether the combination will lead to less competition and higher prices, proxy advisors ISS and Glass Lewis have given both deals a thumbs-up.
- Aetna and Humana investors are scheduled to vote this afternoon and Centene and Health Net shareholders will cast their ballots on Friday.
Tue, Oct. 13, 7:26 AM
- Humana (NYSE:HUM) says its non-GAAP EPS guidance for Q3 and 2015 will remain at $2.15 and $7.75, respectively, despite incorporating adjustments for expenses related to the Aetna (NYSE:AET) transaction.
- Its full-year guidance excludes a ~$267M pretax gain ($1.53 per share) from its sale of Concentra that was recognized in H1. Non-GAAP EPS for both Q4 and 2015 exclude transaction-related costs of ~$17M pretax ($0.10 per share) and $11M pretax ($0.07 per share), respectively.
- The company will report Q3 results later this month.
Fri, Sep. 25, 2:12 PM
Wed, Sep. 2, 1:29 PM
- Forbes Contributor Bruce Japsen reports that the American Hospital Association (AHA) is urging the U.S. Justice Department to closely scrutinize Aetna's (AET +1.1%) proposed $37B takeout of Humana (HUM +0.4%). The hospital lobby says the deal would give Aetna too much power to raise prices of Medicare Advantage plans, the privately run portion of the Medicare program that has seen spectacular growth over the past few years.
- Humana is the second largest insurer of Medicare Advantage while Aetna is the fourth largest. Almost one third of Medicare beneficiaries (~17M Americans) participate in Medicare Advantage.
- AHA SVP and General Counsel Melinda Hatton says, "The deal will not just eliminate current competition between Humana and Aetna, it will eliminate future competition between them. It may create monopsony and enable the merged firm to exploit small, relatively powerless providers. Second, the merger may create downstream market power which could offset the desirable effects of countervailing power and premiums to consumers. Finally, the merger might create countervailing power but the merged firm might exercise it in anti-competitive ways, harming consumers or small providers."
- It's doubtful, though, that the AHA's posturing will scupper the deal.
Tue, Aug. 25, 5:35 PM
- investors should stick with "market darlings" - the 25 stocks that had performed the best during the six months before a market pullback - according to the analyst team at RBC.
- The firm notes that although many recent winners are leading the market lower, the extent of the underperformance is just 1%; it also says investing in the group following sharp market pullbacks is a winning strategy over the ensuing week, month and six months.
- RBC's 25 market darlings are AET, ALTR, AMZN, AIZ, CVC, CI, CAG, EA, EQIX, EXPE, GME, GOOGL, HAS, HCA, MNST, NFLX, NKE, PRGO, REGN, SBUX, TSO, TWC, TSS, UA, UHS
Tue, Aug. 4, 10:32 AM
- Aetna (AET +0.65%) Q2 results: Revenues: $15,240.9M (+5.0%); Health care costs: $10,496.3M (+1.8%); Current & future benefits: $539.2M (+2.6%); SG&A: $2,801.8M (+7.7%); Net Income: $731.8M (+33.3%); EPS: $2.08 (+36.8%).
- Membership (000s): Medical: Commercial: 19,798 (+1.5%); Medicare Advantage: 1,233 (+10.8%); Medicare Supplement: 507 (+16.8%); Medicaid: 2,137 (+4.0%); Total Medical Membership: 23,675 (+2.5%); Total Dental Membership: 14,623 (+1.3%); Pharmacy Benefit Management: Commercial: 10,645 (-1.8%); Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (stand-alone): 1,433 (-10.9%); Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan: 854 (+16.2%); Medicaid: 2,439 (+15.9%); Total Pharmacy Benefit Management Services: 15,371 (+0.5%).
- 2015 Guidance: Operating Earnings Per Share: atleast $7.40 from $7.20 - 7.40.
Tue, Aug. 4, 6:02 AM
Mon, Aug. 3, 5:30 PM
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Thu, Jul. 30, 1:37 PM
- Unsurprisingly, Express Scripts (ESRX -0.6%) takes a dim view of the proposed price of the cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 inhibitor Praluent (alirocumab). Last Friday, co-developers Sanofi (SNY +1.6%) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN +0.4%) announced that the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of the once-every-two-week injection will be $40 per day or $14,600 per year. This is several orders of magnitude above the cost of statins, which average $2 - 3 per day.
- WAC is the average price that wholesalers and distributors pay for the drug. Patients will, of course, pay quite a bit more.
- Pharmacy benefit managers, still feeling the pinch from Gilead's (GILD +1.8%) HCV meds Sovaldi and Harvoni, will likely ratchet up their opposition as Praluent's U.S. launch commences.
- Related tickers: (AET +0.9%)(CTRX)(CNC +0.9%)(CI -0.7%)(HUM)(MRK +0.3%)(OCR +0.4%)(UNH -0.7%)(CVS -0.5%)
Fri, Jul. 24, 6:15 AM
- Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) has agreed to buy Cigna (NYSE:CI) in a deal valued at $54.2B, wrapping up a year of negotiations and creating the largest health insurer in the U.S.
- Cigna shareholders will get $103.40 per share in cash and 0.5152 Anthem shares.
- The deal comes three weeks after Aetna (NYSE:AET) struck a deal to buy Humana (NYSE:HUM) for $37B and is part of an industry-wide consolidation following the roll-out of Obamacare.
Aetna Inc. is a health care benefit company, which offers traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans.
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