Fri, May 22, 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
Fri, May 15, 6:05 PM
- After having exited a prior GM position a year ago, David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital bought 9.5M shares of the auto giant in Q1, per Greenlight's Q1 13F.
- Einhorn previously disclosed the purchase, along with his reasoning, in his Q1 letter. "2015 should be a better year for GM: the company is a year closer to eliminating its losses in Europe; low gas prices should stimulate demand for its highly profitable SUV and light truck product lines; raw material costs are low; and we believe that the worst of the product recalls is behind them." He also noted GM's buyback, and called earnings estimates beatable.
- A 1.7M-share stake was taken in Macy's (NYSE:M), and a 1.1M-share stake in Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM). Greenlight's stake in Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI) was more than doubled to 6.7M shares, and its stake in AerCap (NYSE:AER) hiked by 49% to 5.6M.
- On the flip side, Greenlight liquidated a 1.3M-share stakes in Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Amdocs (NASDAQ:DOX). The firm cut its stake in chipmaker/long-time holding Marvell (NASDAQ:MRVL) by 63% to 9M shares, and in chip equipment maker Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) by 33% to 1.7M shares.
Fri, May 15, 1:57 PM
Wed, May 13, 4:03 PM
- Humana (HUM +0.1%) spiked yesterday on the possibility that it may merge with Aetna (AET -0.3%) opined by Lerrink's Ana Gupte. Today, Sterne Agee's Brian Wright rains on the parade by saying a merger is doubtful due to Humana's premium valuation. He adds credence to his view by cutting his 2015 EPS outlook to $8.07 from $8.40 and 2016's to $9.17 from $9.71. He also cut his rating on HUM to Underperform from Neutral.
Tue, May 12, 3:57 PM
Tue, May 5, 1:09 PM
- It took a while, but the first major health insurer announces its intention to stop paying for the routine use of the laparoscopic power morcellator. Aetna (AET -2%) says it will cease coverage beginning May 15. Doctors will have to be pre-approved thereafter based on exceptions for pre-menopausal women who want to preserve fertility and have no other treatment options and women for whom other procedures could lead to severe complications or be life-threatening.
- A power morcellator has spinning blades that are used to cut uterine fibroids or the uterus into pieces so they can be removed through small incisions in the abdomen, characteristic of minimally invasive surgery. Cancer cells can hide in fibroid tissue, however, which can be spread by the spinning blades, increasing the women's risk of cancer.
- A year ago, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.9%) stopped selling the product in light the risk. At about the same time, the FDA issued an advisory to clinicians to discourage the use of the device. In July, J&J started withdrawing the product from the market, including the return of already-purchased devices. In November, the FDA formally stated that the devices should not be used on the vast majority of women.
- Other insurers will most certainly follow Aetna's lead.
- Previously: Johnson & Johnson withdraws fibroid treatment device from market (July 30, 2014)
- Previously: J&J halts the sale of Ethicon device (April 30, 2014)
Tue, Apr. 28, 7:19 AM
- Aetna (NYSE:AET) Q1 results ($M): Total Revenues: 15,094.1 (+7.9%); Health Care Premiums: 12,940.1 (+8.6%); Health Care Costs: 10.240.5 (+6.9%); Total Benefits and Expenses: 13,727.5 (+6.9%); Operating Earnings: 844.3 (+16.9%); Net Income: 777.5 (+16.8%); EPS: 2.20 (+20.9%).
- Medical Benefit Ratios: Commercial: 77.4% (+0.3%); Government: 81.3% (-4.0%); Health Care: 79.1% (-1.6%).
- Membership (000s): Medical: Commercial: 19,859 (+0.2%); Medicare Advantage: 1,228 (+7.7%); Medicare Supplement: 488 (+5.6%); Medicaid: 2,095 (-1.4%); Dental: 15,555 (+0.4%); Pharmacy Benefit Management: Commercial: 10,789 (+0.5%); Total PBM: 15,425 (+0.7%).
- 2015 Guidance: Operating Earnings Per Share: $7.20 - 7.40 from $7.00.
Tue, Apr. 28, 6:02 AM
Mon, Apr. 27, 5:30 PM
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Tue, Apr. 7, 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
Thu, Mar. 19, 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.
Fri, Feb. 27, 3:24 PM
Mon, Feb. 23, 12:07 PM
- Among the additions to the index (which fuels the IBLN ETF) are EMC, Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Goodyear (NASDAQ:GT), Mohawk Industries (NYSE:MHK), PVH, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO). There are three health care additions as well: Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), and HCA. The lone energy name added is Consol Energy (NYSE:CNX).
- Exiting the index are energy names Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and National-Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV), along with healthcare companies AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Aetna (NYSE:AET), Humana (NYSE:HUM), and Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC). Citigroup (NYSE:C), CBS, Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI), and Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) round out those subtracted.
- IBLN tracks the highest-conviction S&P 500 picks by hot-handed billionaires who built their fortunes through hedge funds and investing. The list of billionaires tracked is updated each October, and the equity components are rebalanced each quarter after sifting through regulatory filings.
- IBillionaire Index Rebalance
Tue, Feb. 3, 8:56 AM
- Aetna (AET +0.4%) Q4 results: Revenues: $14,771.2M (+12.0%); Operating Expenses: $3,071.4M (+22.5%); Net Income: $232M (-37.1%); EPS: $0.65 (-35.0%).
- FY2014 results: Revenues: $58,003.2M (+22.6%); Operating Expenses: $10,837.7M (+25.4%); Net Income: $2,040.8M (+6.6%); EPS: $5.68 (+6.6%).
- Medical Membership: 23,548 (+6.1%), Commercial: 19,822 (+5.3%), Medicare Advantage: 1,140 (+17.8%), Medicare Supplement: 462 (+19.7%), Medicaid: 2,124 (+5.4%).
- Medical Benefit Ratios (MBRs): Commercial: 82% (+0.4%), Government: 84.4% (-3.0%); Healthcare: 83% (-1.1%).
- MBRs FY2014 results: Commercial: 80.2% (+0.1%); Government: 84.9% (-3.0%); Healthcare: 82.2% (-0.8%).
- 2015 Guidance: operating earnings per share of at least $7.00.
Tue, Feb. 3, 6:03 AM
Mon, Feb. 2, 5:30 PM
AET vs. ETF Alternatives
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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