Tue, Oct. 25, 2:22 AM
- The average premium for benchmark 2017 Obamacare insurance plans sold on Healthcare.gov will jump 25% to $302 compared to this year, the biggest increase since the insurance first went on sale in 2013.
- Seeking to downplay the cost hikes, the administration said that including subsidies 77% of people would be able to find insurance plans with monthly premiums below $100, however, one in five consumers will only have one insurer from which to choose coverage.
- Related tickers: UNH, AET, ANTM, CI, HUM, WCG, CNC, MOH, GTS, HQY
Wed, Oct. 12, 12:21 PM
- Humana (HUM -5.6%) slumps on more than an 80% spike in volume in response to its announcement of updated Star quality ratings by the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The percentage of members in the company's 4-star plans declined to 37% from 78% a year earlier. It believes the decline is primarily attributable to the impact of lower scores for certain Stars measures stemming from its recently closed comprehensive audit by CMS.
- The company adds that the decline does not take into account certain operational actions it plans to take in order to mitigate any potential negative impact that the published ratings may have on Star bonus revenues for 2018. The government uses a star rating system to assess health plan offerings. Plans with higher ratings receive bonuses.
- Humana says the results should not materially impact its Medicare membership growth expectations for 2017.
- Management has updated its guidance for Q3 and 2016, raising its non-GAAP EPS for the quarter to $3.15, up almost 46% yoy and over 9% above the consensus of $2.88. It expects GAAP and non-GAAP EPS of $8.80 and $9.50, respectively, for the year.
Mon, Aug. 29, 1:38 AM
- According to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly a third of U.S. counties will likely be served by only one insurer that participates in an Affordable Care Act marketplace in 2017, representing an increase from 7% this year.
- The data underscores the degree to which industry retrenchment from low enrollment and high service costs is curtailing options within the marketplaces.
- Insurer departures will likely lead to higher prices, analysts have warned.
- Related tickers: UNH, AET, ANTM, CI, HUM, WCG, CNC, MOH, GTS, HQY
Thu, Aug. 25, 4:24 PM
Fri, Aug. 5, 12:57 PM
- The judge overseeing two U.S. cases challenging mergers among four of the biggest health insurers gave up one, saying he will keep the case against Aetna's (AET +2.4%) deal for Humana (HUM +2.8%) while leaving the challenge to Anthem’s (ANTM +0.7%) takeover of Cigna (CI -0.1%) to another judge.
- The decision is seen improving the odds for rulings on both mergers by year-end and lowering the chance that they fall apart beforehand.
- Judge Bates, a Republican who has ruled against the government in the past and has voiced skepticism of various Justice Department actions, is considered more favorable towards the proposed AET-HUM deal, while the judge assigned to the ANTM-CI case is a Democrat appointed to the bench by Pres. Obama.
Wed, Aug. 3, 9:05 AM
- Humana (HUM) Q2 results: Revenues: $14.01B (+2.0%); Premiums and Services Revenues: $13.91B (+2.1%); EPS: $2.06 (-27.7%); Non-GAAP EPS: $2.30 (+29.9%); Cash and Short-term Investments: $1.76B (+24.8%); CF used in Ops: ($296M) (+51.3%).
- 2016 Guidance: Revenues: $54B - 54.5B from at least $53.5B; EPS at least $8.56; Non-GAAP EPS at least $9.25.
- Q3 Guidance: EPS at least 2.77; Non-GAAP EPS at least $2.85.
Wed, Aug. 3, 7:32 AM
Tue, Aug. 2, 5:30 PM
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Fri, Jul. 22, 8:40 AM
- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) upgraded to Buy from Hold by Argus Research. Price target raised to $145 (16% upside) from $130.
- Humana (NYSE:HUM) upgraded to Buy from Hold by Jefferies. Price target raised to $210 (22% upside) from $199.
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) upgraded to Buy from Hold by HSBC. Price target raised to $65 (19% upside) from $61.
- Relypsa (NASDAQ:RLYP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy by Citigroup. Price target raised to $32 (0% upside) from $25.
- Evoke Pharma (NASDAQ:EVOK) downgraded to Hold from Buy by Noble Financial. Downgraded to Hold from Buy by Brean Capital. Downgraded to Neutral from Buy by Rodman & Renshaw.
- Merck (NYSE:MRK) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $62 (5% upside) price target by BMO Capital.
- St. Jude Medial (NYSE:STJ) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform by Wedbush. Price target raised to $84 (3% upside) from $70.
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy by Goldman Sachs. Price target lowered to $60 (10% upside) from $70.
Thu, Jul. 21, 12:12 PM
- Humana (HUM +5.7%) jumps on more that double normal volume as investors respond to its increase in 2016 and Q2 guidance. The company says its upward revisions were prompted by better-than-expected performances in its Medicare Advantage and Healthcare Services businesses, although tempered a bit from continuing challenges in its individual commercial medical business.
- The company new expects EPS for the year to be at least $8.56 versus its previous mark of $8.32 (+2.9%). On a Non-GAAP basis, EPS should be at least $9.25, up 4.5% from the previous target of $8.85.
- Its expectation for Q2 EPS is now at least $2.03 compared to the previous mark of $2.06. On a Non-GAAP basis, the EPS target is now ~$2.28 versus the previous forecast of at least $2.15.
- Pretax earnings of the Medicare Advantage unit should be ~$185M or $0.76/share due to operating initiatives that resulted in favorable medical claims development and lower utilization.
- Pretax earnings in Healthcare Services should be ~$62M or $0.29/share due to higher-than-projected earnings in the pharmacy business.
- Humana established a premium deficiency reserve (PDR) related to its Individual business in Q4 of last year. Based on a recent evaluation of claims data, it has increased its PDR for this year by ~$208M pretax ($0.86/share). Net anticipated pretax expenses through Q2 will be ~$52M ($0.22/share). The two items together comprise the $1.08/share line item downward adjustment in its overall earnings guidance update (FY16 financial guidance table).
- The company also reports that its has filed proposals for significant rate increases and service area changes with various Departments of Insurance regarding individual insurance for consumers. It intends to almost completely exit Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant off-exchange markets by next year. Its revised geographic presence will be pared down to 156 counties across 11 states from 1,351 counties across 19 states. Its premiums from ACA-compliant offerings will be $750M - 1B this year, far short of the projected $3.4B.
Thu, Jul. 21, 10:38 AM
- It's official. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an antitrust suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC attempting to block the Anthem (ANTM +1.8%) and Cigna (CI +0.8%) merger and the Aetna (AET +0.9%) and Humana (HUM -0.4%) merger. In the complaint, the DOJ said the deals would be anti-competitive and would not be in the best interests of consumers.
- Unsurprisingly, the four companies take the opposite view.
Thu, Jul. 21, 5:27 AM
- With a decision on their merger expected within days, Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Humana (NYSE:HUM) remain in discussions with the DOJ, trying to convince federal regulators that their $37B deal will be good for seniors in the Medicare Advantage market.
- The insurers have pitched divestitures, with contracts ready to be signed for assets in markets where their coverage overlaps, but so far, the DOJ has not been convinced by the offers.
Tue, Jul. 19, 10:37 AM
- According to Bloomberg, the U.S. is preparing litigation to block the Anthem (ANTM -2.2%)/Cigna (CI -2%) and Aetna (AET -3.5%)/Humana (HUM -4.2%) mergers over antitrust concerns.
- Previously: Humana, Aetna slide on chatter over Justice Dept. meeting (July 7)
- Previously: Anthem-Cigna deal in jeopardy? (June 30)
- Update: The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit on July 21 opposing both mergers.
Fri, Jul. 15, 10:10 AM
- Wells Fargo ticks off 20 S&P 500 stocks with the most upside potential vs. consensus, and the 20 with the most downside risk vs. consensus.
- The list is compiled by comparing the midpoint of Wells Fargo Securities valuation ranges to consensus fair value estimates, volatility adjusting the percentage difference, and ranking the resulting score.
- Upside: AEE, BEN, CCL, DVA, EIX, ES, EXC, FTR, HUM, INTC, JNJ, LNT, PEG, PNW, SCG, T, WEC, WU, XEL, XOM.
- Downside: ANTM, C, CI, COF, EQT, FOXA, FSLR, GS, KIM, LH, MON, MSI, MYL, NVDA, NWSA, SLG, TIF, TSO, UA, WLTW.
Sun, Jul. 10, 9:47 AM
- WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) and Centene (NYSE:CNC) have made competing offers for the Medicare Advantage insurance policies - covering about 350K people - that Aetna (NYSE:AET) plans to shed in order to acquire Humana (NYSE:HUM).
- Aetna presented the divestiture plan on Friday, when meeting with DOJ officials in a bid to address their antitrust concerns.
Fri, Jul. 8, 12:25 PM
- Anthera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ANTH) initiated with Buy rating and $10 (180% upside) price target by H.C. Wainwright.
- Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:RARE) initiated with Overweight rating and $70 (31% upside) price target by Piper Jaffray.
- Eiger Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:EIGR) initiated with Outperform rating and $34 (85% upside) price target by Oppenheimer.
- Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT) initiated with Sell rating and $58 (61% downside risk) price target by Cantor Fitzgerald.
- Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO) initiated with Equal Weight rating and $48 (73% upside) price target by Barclays.
- Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE) initiated with Equal Weight rating and $58 (21% upside) price target by Barclays.
- Endologix (NASDAQ:ELGX) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital. Price target raised to $16 (14% upside) from $11.50.
- Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACHN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with a $13 (42% upside) price target by JMP Securities.
- Humana (NYSE:HUM) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight by JPMorgan. Price target lowered to $150 (8% downside risk) from $196.
- Ilumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley. Price target lowered to $110 (22% downside risk) from $130.
- T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ:TTOO) downgraded to Sell from Buy by BTIG Research. Price target lowered to $4 (26% downside risk) from $12.
- Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight by JPMorgan. Price target lowered to $39 (40% upside) from $63.
- Depomed (NASDAQ:DEPO) downgraded to Neutral from Buy with $20 (6% upside) price target by UBS.
- Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR) downgraded to Hold from Buy by WallachBeth.