Thu, Jun. 25, 10:26 AM| Thu, Jun. 25, 10:26 AM | 87 Comments
Fri, May 29, 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%).
Wed, Mar. 4, 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
Oct. 17, 2013, 1:28 PM
- Investors aren't satisfied with UnitedHealth's (UNH -4.9%) quarter, as the stock is notably lower on heavy volume.
- Although the company matched Street estimates, profit ticked up only slightly Y/Y and the company's FY EPS guidance of $5.40-5.50 is still below consensus estimates.
- Also lower on the day: WLP -1.4%, HUM -3.4%, AET -1.9%
Oct. 17, 2013, 9:12 AM
Jun. 10, 2013, 4:37 PMCardioNet (BEAT) inks a three-year National Provider Agreement with UnitedHealthcare (UNH), covering all of BEAT's monitoring modalities, including its Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry. The agreement is effective July 1, and applies to all UNH affiliated entities, including managed Medicare and managed Medicaid plans. Shares +34% AH. | Jun. 10, 2013, 4:37 PM | Comment!
Apr. 18, 2013, 8:27 AMMore on UnitedHealth (UNH -3.3%) Q1: net profit -14% to $1.19B, partly because of lower government payments. Medical costs +13% to $22.57B. Reiterates 2013 EPS forecast of $5.25-5.50 vs consensus of $5.51, but says that the impact of sequestration will affect the upper end. Cuts revenue outlook to $122B from a prior forecast of $123-124B and vs consensus of $123.76B, due to a major client switching its insurance to a self-funded approach. (PR) | Apr. 18, 2013, 8:27 AM | 4 Comments
Apr. 2, 2013, 10:41 AMGoldman Sachs opts to remain selective on a few names in the managed care sector following yesterday's announcement by the CMS that Medicaid Advantage rates were going higher. It's reiterating a CL-Buy on UnitedHealth (UNH +7.6%), calling its valuation under 10X FY14 EPS attractive, as well a Buy on Health Net (HNT +3.6%) and WellCare (WCG +5.2%). It maintains Sell ratings on Humana (HUM +8.3%) and Universal American (UAM +9.9%) however, noting the majority of their earnings are tied to Medicaid Advantage with about half of those members in non-HMO plans." | Apr. 2, 2013, 10:41 AM | Comment!
Apr. 1, 2013, 6:12 PMThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, after originally calling for reducing Medicare Advantage payments in February, seem to have reversed course, now projecting that combined growth in Medicare Advantage rates and fee-for-service rates will be 3.3%. Though it's unclear precisely what that may mean for health insurers, the markets are taking it as a positive: HUM +9%, AET +2.3%, WCG +4.1%, UNH +4% AH. | Apr. 1, 2013, 6:12 PM | 3 Comments
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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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