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Jun. 22, 2015, 2:58 AM
- The nation's biggest health insurers, which are pursuing a series of potential megamergers due to changes in the healthcare landscape, have many market overlaps that pose challenges to competition around the country.
- On Saturday, Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) made a third offer to purchase Cigna (NYSE:CI) for $54B (although the bid was rejected), while Aetna (NYSE:AET) made a takeover offer for Humana. Those deals, if completed, would shrink the current top five insurers to a powerful big three, each with revenue on paper of more than $100B.
- UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH), the largest industry player by revenue, has also recently jumped on the bandwagon by making a takeover approach to Aetna.
Jun. 16, 2015, 2:06 AM
- Merger talk in the health-insurance industry is heating up as firms grapple with the challenges and opportunities the federal healthcare overhaul has created.
- UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) has reportedly approached Aetna (NYSE:AET) about a takeover deal that would likely be valued at more than $40B, after Anthem approached Cigna with a $45B buyout offer that was rebuffed.
- Meanwhile, Aetna and others are considering buying Humana, which is looking at strategic alternatives including a sale.
Jun. 3, 2015, 7:08 AM
- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) declares $0.50/share quarterly dividend, 33% increase from prior dividend of $0.375.
- Forward yield 1.7%
- Payable June 24; for shareholders of record June 15; ex-div June 11.
May 29, 2015, 2:12 PM
- Humana (HUM +19.6%) surges following a WSJ report that it is exploring a potential sale after receiving indications of takeover interest, and has hired Goldman Sachs to help it explore a potential sale.
- Sources say Aetna (AET +2.2%) and Cigna (CI +5.2%) are among companies that have held preliminary discussions with HUM.
- HUM is one of five health insurers that bankers and analysts have long considered ripe for consolidating the industry, including AET, CI, UnitedHealth (UNH +1%) and Anthem (ANTM +2.6%).
May 22, 2015, 11:14 AM
- Major health insurers in some states are proposing rate increases of as much as 51% for plans sold under the federal health law, according to a WSJ analysis, setting the stage for an intense debate over the law’s impact.
- All the insurers cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act, saying their proposed rates reflect the revenue they need to pay claims now that they have had time to analyze their experience with the law’s requirement that they offer the same rates to everyone regardless of medical history.
- Some insurers are trying to catch up with the impact of expensive drugs such as Sovaldi, foreseeing significant pent-up demand from the newly enrolled, says a fellow at the Society of Actuaries.
- Relevant tickers: IHF, HNT, UNH, MOH, CNC, UAM, AET, CI, HUM, HCA, WCG, GTS, EMCI, MGLN
Apr. 16, 2015, 7:27 AM
- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) Q1 results ($M): Total Business: 35,756 (+12.8%); Total UNH: 32,623 (+11.5%); Optum: 12,815 (+14.7%); Premiums: 31,674 (+12.7%); Services: 2,706 (+12.6%).
- Employer & Individual: 11,423 (+4.3%); Medicare & Retirement: 12,781 (+11.1%); Community & State: 6,905 (+33.5%); International: 1,514 (-6.6%).
- Medical Costs: 25,689 (+10.7%); Operating Costs: 5,949 (+14.5%); Net Income: 1,413 (+28.6%); EPS: 1.46 (+32.7%); CF Ops: 2,269 (+61.2%); Quick Assets: 10,430 (+11.2%).
- UnitedHealthcare added more than 1M people in Q1. Consolidated medical care ratio decreased 140 basis points to 81.1%.
- 2015 Guidance: Revenues: ~$143B from $140.5B - 141.5B; EPS: $6.15 - 6.30 from $6.00 - 6.25; CF Ops: $8.2B - 8.4B from $8.0B - 8.4B.
- Shares up 3% premarket on light volume.
Apr. 16, 2015, 6:02 AM
- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH): Q1 EPS of $1.46 beats by $0.11.
- Revenue of $35.76B (+12.8% Y/Y) beats by $1.13B.
Apr. 15, 2015, 5:30 PM
Apr. 15, 2015, 1:32 PM
- UnitedHealth Group (UNH -2.5%) upgraded to Buy with a $141 (21% upside) price target by Jefferies.
- AbbVie (ABBV +1.1%) upgraded to Outperform with a $68 (9% upside) price target by BMO Capital Markets. Analyst Alex Arfaei cites improved prospects for Imbruvica and increased confidence that the company can defend Humira against biosimilars.
- Clovis Oncology (CLVS +7.3%) upgraded to Buy with a $117 (27% upside) price target by Goldman Sachs.
- NuVasive (NUVA -4%) downgraded to Hold with a $49 (14% upside from today's down move) price target by Cannaccord Genuity.
- Arrowhead Research (ARWR -3.3%) downgraded to Hold with a $9 (28% upside from today's down move) price target by Jefferies.
- Cellular Dynamics (ICEL +0.1%) downgraded to Market Perform with a $16.50 price target by Leerink Swann (unsurprising since the company is being acquired by Fujifilm for $16.50).
Apr. 15, 2015, 11:50 AM
- UnitedHealth Group (UNH -2.2%) will report Q1 results tomorrow morning before the open. Consensus view is EPS of $1.34 on revenues of $34.6B.
Apr. 7, 2015, 7:14 AM
- The government surprisingly intends to increase Medicare Advantage payments by about 1.25% in 2016, reversing a proposal to make a cut of 0.9%.
- The move should benefit insurers such as UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) and Humana (NYSE:HUM).
- The change is mainly connected to tweaks in estimates of how fast Medicare spending has been rising rather than to changes in policy.
- Other health insurers include: AET, HNT, MO
- ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
Mar. 30, 2015, 6:45 AM
- UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) has agreed to acquire Catamaran (NASDAQ:CTRX) for about $12.8B in cash, planning to merge the pharmacy-benefit manager into its OptumRx unit.
- UnitedHealth will pay $61.50 per share of Catamaran, a 27% premium over Friday’s closing price of $48.32.
- The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and will be accretive to UnitedHealth's 2016 net earnings by about $0.30 a share.
- UNH +2.7%; CTRX +26.2% premarket
Mar. 19, 2015, 10:34 AM
- According to Bloomberg, major providers of Medicare coverage like Humana (HUM +0.9%), WellCare (WCG +0.6%) and Centene (CNC +1.4%) are high on the acquisition radar of large insurers who have relatively modest exposure to the rapidly growing Obamacare-stoked space. Likely suitors would be Aetna (AET +1.3%) and Anthem (ANTM +0.3%).
- There hasn't been much M&A activity among health insurers due to the uncertainties surrounding the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Now that its implications are better understood, the number of deals should perk up.
- No bargains are out there, though. S&P's index of health insurers galloped 57% last year. The current valuations for Humana, WellCare and Centene are $26.9B, $4.1B and $8.3B, respectively, all at record levels since at least 2007.
- Anthem CFO Wayne DeVeydt says his firm will continue to make smaller deals although a larger purchase is not out of the question. Other firms declined to comment.
- Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte says a likely scenario is consolidation among the five largest health insurers: UnitedHealth Group (UNH +0.8%), Anthem, Aetna, Cigna (CI +0.6%) and Humana.
- Aging baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are driving the increase in Medicare enrollment. Membership is expected to rise to 68.4M in 2023, up more than 25% from this year's 54.4M. Medicaid is projected to add 9.3M people over the same time frame.
Mar. 4, 2015, 12:11 PM
- Hospitals rally on comments from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, often a swing vote in important cases. He says there is a powerful point to the Obama administration's argument that the Affordable Care Act would fall apart if the subsidies were ruled invalid.
- The Court is currently hearing arguments in the case King v. Burwell, which challenges federal subsidies in states that did not create their own health insurance exchanges. Its final decision will not be announced until June, though.
- Hospitals and health insurers have the most at stake. They have benefited greatly since the law was signed in 2010. To date, 11.4M Americans have signed up for coverage in 2015, giving both groups more paying customers and potentially cutting the number of non-paying emergency room visits. If the subsidies were ruled invalid then many people would drop coverage due to the higher cost.
- Related tickers: (HCA +6.2%)(THC +5.4%)(UHS +2.6%)(CYH +5.4%)(LPNT +3.3%)(SEM -0.9%)(SSY)(HUM +0.1%)(CI -0.4%)(CNC)(MOH +0.3%)(ANTM +0.5%)(UNH +0.3%)(MGLN +0.3%)(WCG +0.3%)
Feb. 26, 2015, 6:15 PM
- UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) has tightened its controls on hysterectomy coverage -- requiring doctors to get pre-approval from the insurer before performing most types of the procedure.
- Only outpatient vaginal hysterectomies (a small minority) won't require approval -- but the overall insurance trend is for more pre-authorizations for care, and hysterectomies are one of the most common surgeries for American women.
- It's also another hit to the laparoscopic power morcellator -- which uses spinning blades to break up tissue through small incisions. The FDA started warning against using the devices last year, and many hospitals have banned them, as they can spread a dangerous uterine cancer.
- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) started removing its morcellators from the market last summer.
Feb. 11, 2015, 7:13 AM
- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) declares $0.38/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
- Forward yield 1.38%
- Payable March 24; for shareholders of record March 13; ex-div March 11.
UnitedHealth Group Inc designs products, provides services and applies technologies that improve access to health and well-being services, simplify the health care experience and make health care more affordable.
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