If you recall, they initially announced the impasse in their Q3 Conference Call. The imperative will be to provide positive guidance during next week's call, the MOST positive outcome being that a settlement has been reached. I believe that if no settlement is announced at that time, the odds diminish for any agreement being reached as the impasse escalates to Defcon3.
ESRX has paid a steep price for this dispute, as has Walgreens. I have said all along that both sides would benefit by finding a common high-ground point and mending their fences.
I recall, the Q3 conference call the Morgan Stanley Conference and the Lazard Investor Conference with the Q/A by the CFO who has been controlling the message.
The positive outcome, IMO, of the Dec. 21st call is that Walgreens has been successful(Limited) in disrupting Esrx book of Business. The price paid by Esrx is small compared to Walgreens, in that, Insurance provider announcements and In- network providers have already been published and distributed to Enrollee's.
The second part of analyzing price, is CVS/Caremark a retail/mailorder competitor captured some of Esrx's business.
At two Strikes, here is the Third comming, Wellpoint has not sided with one party in this war being cut-lose from the network, in fact Wellpoints CFO stated at a recent Investors conference that controlling costs and Inflation was the Focus moving forward.
So if a solution is tendered it will be IMO primarily on Esrx terms and timeline.. Which would be after the drop dead date 1/1/12
This is why I bring up entry point on this stock!!