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Thu, Jan. 14, 2:51 AM
- WebMD (NASDAQ:WBMD), the U.S. online health information publisher, is exploring the possible sale of all or part of its business, FT reports.
- The company is said to be in talks with Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) and UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH), among other potential buyers.
- Since the start of the year WebMD shares have risen 10%, giving the company a market value of close to $2B.
- Update: Shares are up 6% premarket on increased volume.
Nov. 19, 2015, 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%)
Nov. 19, 2015, 9:14 AM
Nov. 19, 2015, 8:17 AM
- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) eases 6% premarket on increased volume in response to its announcement of lowered earnings guidance for 2015, now projected to be ~$6 per share instead of $6.25 - 6.35 due to continued deterioration in individual exchange-compliant product performance (not as many people are signing up for insurance as hoped). The pre-tax earnings hit will be $425M or $0.26 per share, including $275M related to the advance recognition of 2016 losses. The company also plans to reduce its marketing efforts for individual exchange products next year.
- EPS expectations for 2016 are $7.10 - 7.30. More color will be provided on December 1 during its Investor Conference.
- Management will host a conference call this morning at 9:00 am ET to discuss the matter.
Oct. 29, 2015, 7:36 PM
- It's a full-on exit as Optum, the health services platform of UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH), joins CVS and Express Scripts in cutting ties to Philidor, the specialty pharmacy linked to Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX -4.6%).
- Valeant has continued to slide through a postmarket session, now down 12.6%.
- Former employees and internal documents suggest that Philidor was altering doctors' orders in order to boost reimbursements from insurers and promote Valeant's brand-name drugs over less expensive generics.
- Meanwhile, Pershing Square's Bill Ackman is going to discuss his fund's investment in Valeant in a conference call at 9 a.m. ET tomorrow. Ackman had previously categorically denied the allegations in Citron Research's report that started Valeant on a tailspin (Shares have lost 32% in the seven trading days since, as of today's close).
- Previously: Valeant -10.9% after hours as Express Scripts, following CVS, boots Philidor (Oct. 29 2015)
- Previously: CVS terminates Philidor Rx from network; Valeant down 5% (Oct. 29 2015)
- Previously: Notes from Valeant's conference call (Oct. 26 2015)
- Previously: Citron Research slams Valeant Pharma; shares down 20%, trading halted (Oct. 21 2015)
Oct. 28, 2015, 6:15 PM
- Bloomberg reports UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) is in advanced talks to buy Helios, a provider of workers compensation claim and pharmacy benefit management services, for as much as $1.7B. A deal could be announced as soon as this week.
- Helios, owned by P-E firms Kelso & Co. and Stone Point Capital was created by the 2013 merger of PMSI Group and Progressive Medical. Earlier this year, UNH struck a $12.8B deal to buy pharmacy benefits manager Catamaran.
Jun. 25, 2015, 10:26 AM| Jun. 25, 2015, 10:26 AM | 87 Comments
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%).
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%)
Oct. 22, 2014, 2:44 PM
- Crude inventories rose 7.1M barrels for the week ended October 17, according to the EIA, vs. expectations for a 2.7M jump. Helping boost inventories were fewer refinery runs - down 113K barrels per day with utilization rates dropping 140 basis points to 86.7%. In the Midwest, utilization rates are the lowest for this point in the year since 2010.
- WTI crude oil last week briefly dropped under $80 per barrel for the first time since the summer of 2012, and it's testing that level again today, -2.9% to $80.36. USO -2.4%
- Gasoline (UGA -2.2%) stockpiles fell 1.3M barrels vs. expectations for a 1M barrel drop, and distillates (UNH -0.8%) rose 1M barrels vs. expectations for a 1.3M barrel decline.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, BNO, DTO, DBO, CRUD, USL, UWTI, DNO, DWTI, SZO, OLO, OLEM, TWTI
Jul. 25, 2014, 11:05 AM
Feb. 24, 2014, 12:35 PM
- Humana (HUM +9.4%) surges to new 52-week highs after saying proposed rate cuts to Medicare Advantage plans weren't as bad as expected.
- Health insurers who run Medicare Advantage face a 3.55% base payment cut next year, the U.S. government said late Friday; HUM now estimates the final reduction will be 3.5%-4% after projecting a 6%-7% reduction during its Q4 conference call earlier this month.
- “Although we still believe rate pressure of this magnitude will present a significant challenge to the company/industry, it is certainly much better” than previous estimates, a Susquehanna analyst says.
- Among the five largest publicly traded health insurance carriers, Medicare accounted for ~30% of earnings last year, Goldman Sachs says, with HUM and UnitedHealth (UNH +2.7%) the biggest players in the Advantage program.
- Other insurers: WLP +3.7%, HNT +3.5%, WCG +1.5%.
- Hospital stocks also are gaining: THC +3.1%, UHS +1.5%.
Jan. 16, 2014, 7:17 AM
- UnitedHealth (UNH) net profit +15% to $1.43B
- Revenue breakdown: insurance +7.3% to $28.81B, Optum IT health-services +35% to $10.2B.
- Consolidated medical-care ratio, which reflects the proportion of insurance premiums used for patient care, increased to 81.2% from 80.5% a year earlier.
- Number of people served rose to 88.2M from 83.7M a year ago but was down from 89.7M in Q3.
- Total operating costs +7.5% to $28.67B.
- Shares +4.2%. (PR)
Jan. 7, 2014, 8:15 AM
Oct. 28, 2013, 5:12 AM
- The Affordable Care Act appears to have so far proved beneficial to investors in health insurers.
- Over the past year, the share prices of the five top firms in the sector — Aetna (AET), WellPoint (WLP), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM) and Cigna (CI) — have increased an average of 32%, well above the S&P 500's rise of 24%.
- Health insurers predict that their earnings will rise after Obamacare is fully in effect, as they expect to gain more customers from people being forced to buy coverage. This is seen offsetting the cost of increased regulations. A fall in healthcare costs has also helped the sector.
Oct. 17, 2013, 3:37 PM
- On the Q3 call, UnitedHealth (UNH -5.2%) said it will continue to face headwinds from Medicare Advantage and non-deductible premium tax, Wells Fargo's Peter Costa notes, adding that the company "will likely provide a wide initial range of guidance for FY14 that straddles both the low and high end of it FY13 guidance range."
- Despite today's lackluster session, Costa maintains an Outperform rating on the shares.
- FY14 and FY15 EPS estimates are cut to $5.80 (from $6) and $6.85 (from $7.05).
- Price target reduced to $81-87 from $84-90.
- More on UNH's quarter here and here
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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