More on Questcor (QCOR +8.4%) conference call: COO Steve Cartt says insurance reimbursement for Acthar was already complicated before Aetna's (AET) coverage limitations, but QCOR is experienced in securing coverage for appropriate patients. "We anticipate that insurance coverage for Acthar will continue to be available" for the right patients."
Questcor's (QCOR -38.5%) weakness a buying opportunity , says Leerink Swann. The firm says it's confirmed with Aetna (AET -0.3%) that Acthar is reimbursed as a second tier drug, and Acthar sales are still seeing more prescriptions written.
Questcor (QCOR -34.5%) is getting hammered this morning on another negative report from Citron Research. Citron is saying that Aetna (AET -0.5%) has dropped almost all coverage of QCOR's drug Achtar for treating multiple sclerosis and nephrotic symdrome, saying that studies found no proof of efficacy to substantiate reimbursement. It will, however, continue to provide reimbursement when treating infantile spasms.
Aetna (AET) reaffirms its FY12 EPS guidance of $5 - $5.10, in line with consensus estimates of $5.08. The company also says operating EPS will be higher in Q3, and it remains confident in its FY12 Commercial medical cost trend projections, pricing and forecasting assumptions and the adequacy of its reserves.
Coventry Health Care (CVH -0.3%) slips today after Stifel Nicolaus cut the shares to Hold and removed its previous $37 price target. The firm cites the long awaited takeout by Aetna at $42 per share, saying "After many long years of referring to Coventry as a "takeout", we and many others were right."
Stock buybacks are nice, but history suggests companies tend to do so just when profits (and the share price) are at their plumpest. Here are a few companies buying back shares trading at a discount to the market multiple: AET, DELL, HPQ, STX, WDC, LLL, NOC, GME.
Aetna (AET -0.8%) reached an agreement earlier today for multi-year contract extension with WellStar Health System. Under the terms of the agreement, members of AET's commercial plans will be able to continue to receive covered services, at in-network rates, from WellStar's hospitals and physicians in the greater Atlanta area.
The benefits from a Deutsche upgrade are marginal for Coventry Health Care (CVH +0.5%) today, as the firm takes the shares from a Sell to a Hold following the Aetna (AET +0.9%) merger announcement last week. The firm notes its prior Sell rating had been based on the view that CVH's commercial business was likely to face ongoing margin pressures due to its insufficient scale, but the merger should create a stronger competitor than a stand-alone CVH.
Daniel Loeb may chastise Pres. Obama, says Andrew Ross Sorkin, but look at Loeb's recent investments: Aetna (AET), Cigna (CI), Humana (HUM), UnitedHealth (UNH) and WellPoint (WLP) stand to benefit if Obamacare remains in force, while a repeal could send shares diving. Like others, Sorkin reckons industry consolidation represents multi-billion dollar bets that the Health Act is here to stay.
SA author Valuentum says of Aetna's (AET) $7.3B deal to acquire Coventry Health Care (CVH) that "it's hard not to like a deal that will add strong earnings growth at a reasonable multiple/price." While management denies that the purchase is politically motivated, "we think it's safe to say the company feels Medicaid, as well as the Affordable Healthcare Act, is here to stay."
More on Aetna (AET) / Coventry (CVH) deal: Coventry shareholders will receive $27.30 in cash and 0.3885 Aetna common shares for each Coventry share, or $42.08/share. That's a 20% premium to Coventry's closing price on Friday, and its shares are +18.1% premarket. Deal adds over 5M members to Aetna and increases revenues from government to over 30% from 23%. To bring synergies of $400M/year in 2015. (PR)
An apparent deal to buy Coventry Health Care (CVH) for $5.7B will make Aetna (AET) one of the biggest providers of Medicare and Medicaid plans. The 65% cash/35% stock deal - about $42.08 a share, a 20.4% premium to CVH's Friday close - has been approved by both boards, the WSJ reports.
Aetna (AET -0.1%) says it's reached an agreement on a new contract with Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, adding the facility and its physician group to its network. Under the terms of the agreement, members of AET’s commercial plans will be able to receive covered services at in-network rates from the Hospital and its physicians clinic.
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.