CVS Nov 2019 75.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
0.2000
+0.0500 (+33.33%)
As of 3:46PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close0.1500
Open0.2000
Bid0.1700
Ask0.2300
Strike75.00
Expire Date2019-11-15
Day's Range0.2000 - 0.2000
Contract RangeN/A
Volume2
Open Interest186
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    It's a tricky time for pharmacy-chain-turned-healthcare-mogul CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), which has its fingers in pretty much every part of the healthcare supply chain. This has created some opportunities for the company that bulls say will carry it higher in the years to come. However, the firm's metamorphosis into a healthcare goliath came at a hefty price, which has bears worried about CVS stock's debt load. Shares of CVS have lost more than 20% so far this year, but the question is: can they go up from here? Here's a look at the bull and bear cases for CVS Health stock. Bulls Applaud AcquisitionsSource: Mike Mozart via FlickrBulls Point to the synergies that CVS created for itself when it branched out into other areas of the healthcare arena. The firm used a series of acquisitions in order to add private benefits manager (PBM) and private health insurer to its portfolio. Most recently, the company acquired Aetna -- a move that many praised as a defensive play to avoid increasing competition from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and further expand CVS's reach within the healthcare industry. InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn the CVS' most recent quarterly results, the Aetna purchase appears to be paying off, as revenue for the firm's health-care benefits segment surpassed expectations at $17.87 billion. * 7 Dividend Stocks to Buy as the Trade War Reignites Bears Say Acquisitions Are ExpensiveOn the flip side, bears are less congratulatory about the Aetna purchase. For one, many analysts say that the $68 billion that CVS paid for Aetna was too steep. Pointing to the firm's purchase of Omnicare back in 2015, they say this isn't the first time management has made a bad deal and overestimated how much an acquisition will benefit CVS' business.Plus, the Aetna purchase didn't do much to insulate CVS from the headwinds in the healthcare space. If anything, buying a private insurance business and becoming a one-stop shop for pretty much every healthcare service there is has put CVS stock firmly in the center of the healthcare debate in America. Bulls Are Confident About the FutureIt's no secret that healthcare is a hot topic in the US, especially come election season. But the bulls look at CVS' integrated structure as a positive as the space moves forward. By combining a retail pharmacy with a PBM, CVS is ultimately able to lower costs for its clients while still keeping them tied into the CVS network. We have yet to see how the tie-ins with Aetna will play out, but its likely that CVS will use it's link with Aetna to promote CVS clinics for low-risk issues. Again, this synergy will be beneficial to everyone involved because it will lower costs for insurers and patients while benefiting CVS clinics. Bears Say Turbulence AheadOn the other hand, CVS could become a talking point during the 2020 Presidential race as candidates debate how to proceed with healthcare reform in the US. Already the acquisition is being criticized as a way to reduce patients' choices and reduce transparency within the industry. The firm is almost certain to come up, as the race heats up and candidates debate hot-button issues like drug prices and healthcare reform. So Which Is It?No stock comes without risk, but with healthcare so up in the air right now and the political climate becoming increasingly hostile, CVS and its peers are extremely susceptible to volatility. With that said, if you're a long-term investor it could be a great time to add CVS to your portfolio. Yes, the stock is likely to suffer through some peaks and troughs in 2020 as the presidential race heats up, but, overall, the firm looks like a winner in the healthcare space. * 10 'Buy-and-Hold' Stocks to Own Forever Yes, CVS is carrying a staggering amount of long-term debt following its acquisitions, but the firm should be able to pay that down significantly over the next few years. Having a presence across the board in the healthcare space is going to be a boon for CVS and could help it weather the political storm that's about to hit. For that reason, I'm going to agree (albeit cautiously) with the bulls on this one. CVS stock looks like one of the best value plays in the healthcare space right now, so if you can take on a bit of volatility, it's worth considering.As of this writing Laura Hoy was long AMZN. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Dividend Stocks to Buy as the Trade War Reignites * 10 Stocks That Could Squeeze Short Sellers, Including CGC * 5 Tech Stocks Getting Crushed Compare Brokers The post Is CVS Stock A Deal or a Dud? appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    6 Signs That Marijuana Legalization is Closer Than You Think

    It's become trendy for stock "gurus" to start pushing marijuana stocks. A few months ago, most of them were silent on the issue. Now they all seem to be pounding the table.I urged people to consider cannabis stocks back in 2014 - for one simple reason: Colorado had opened the door by being the first U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana.Since then, Colorado has made over $6 billion in legal marijuana sales in just four years. This has produced more than $927 million in tax revenue. Some of the biggest names in U.S. legal cannabis operate there, like Charlotte's Web (OTCMKTS:CWBHF) and Elixinol Global (OTCMKTS:ELLXF), and they are flourishing.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsFrom the beginning, I knew that was just the first "domino" to fall… leading to full, federal legalization.Given that we've been under marijuana prohibition for generations, many folks are still skeptical. Well, based on the facts, news, and trends - not a gut feeling for or against marijuana - I do expect legalization, and soon. And I've got six reasons why. * 7 Dangerous Dividend Stocks to Stay Far Away From Catalyst 1: SAFE Banking Act & STATES ActThe first official step to full-blown legalization will likely be one of two specific bills that are working their way through Congress.In March, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act passed the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services with bipartisan support. If passed, the bill will allow banks to work with marijuana companies without fear of breaking any laws.Only a small number of regional banks and credit unions currently take the risk of offering services to the industry. Banking costs for marijuana companies are exceptionally high - try $5,000 a month maintenance fees! - due to the risk banks are taking by technically breaking federal laws. So, access to traditional banks/loans would be a game-changer.The other piece of legislation, the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, will allow individual states to make their own laws on cannabis, including banking. Any bank lawfully working with marijuana businesses will be protected under the STATES Act.At least one of these bills will likely be passed in the coming months, and possibly both. Either would be a major step toward legalizing marijuana in the United States. Catalyst 2: The 2020 ElectionNote: Please understand that my analysis on politics and the stock market is 100% from an investing point of view. I have no desire to push any type of politics on you in any manner. I hate it when other people do that to me, and I would never do it to you. My one and only goal is to make you money.The 2020 presidential election is already in the daily headlines. I've lost track of the number of Democrats that have thrown their hats into the ring. I know it's more than 20… and the election is still more than a year-and-a-half away!These candidates come from all types of backgrounds. Some are far left and others are more moderate. The candidates will undoubtedly take vicious shots at each other as they try to secure the Democratic nomination, but there is one topic that could create that kumbaya moment - marijuana.Nearly every Democratic candidate has called for legalization of even recreational marijuana as well expunging federal charges related to cannabis. Former Vice President Joe Biden is one major exception, but I don't think we've heard the last from him on this issue. Expect the topic to be at the forefront of town halls and debates over the next 18 months.In the meantime, several bills were introduced in the last year that would legalize marijuana nationwide. The one that has the best chance - and the backing of big-name Democrats - is the Marijuana Justice Act. It was originally introduced in 2017, but a vote never took place. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker reintroduced the bill in February. Its chances of getting through the Senate are very low, but the bill does put pressure on the Republicans up for re-election. That brings me to the next catalyst… Catalyst 3: President TrumpI have attended a few cannabis conferences recently, and I stay in touch with industry insiders. In just the last few months, I've noticed a significant increase in the number of insiders who expect President Trump to introduce a bill to legalize marijuana. Based on what I'm hearing from them and people who have connections in D.C., the odds of the president introducing such a bill are now well above 50%.We know President Trump wants another term, and according to a poll by Civilized, cannabis users plan to vote come November 3, 2020. Civilized is a pro legalization site, but about 90% of people surveyed said they intend to vote in the next presidential election. That's significant, and about 3% higher than non-cannabis consumers.Democrats will make sure marijuana is front and center in all debates. And it makes sense politically for Republicans, too. Backing marijuana's legalization will not hurt the party's voter base and could bring some moderates over to their side.That is where President Trump comes into play. If legalizing marijuana can swing some moderate Democrats to his side, he will not hesitate. I and others I talk with increasingly believe President Trump will strike preemptively and legalize marijuana before the election. Catalyst 4: The DEAMarijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug in the United States, which is one reason it is illegal. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Schedule 1 drugs are generally unsafe with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.More and more studies refute all three of those criteria when it comes to marijuana. The last qualifier - no accepted medical use - is now known to be simply false.What will it take for the DEA to remove marijuana from Schedule 1? Well, the first thing is old-fashioned common sense. Heroin, LSD, and ecstasy are all Schedule 2 drugs, which in theory means they are less dangerous than marijuana. That's crazy. You don't need a medical or biology degree to see how out of touch and outdated that is.Beyond common sense, there are other things that will force the DEA to change marijuana's classification. The most likely are more studies demonstrating the positive medicinal effects of marijuana.This is yet another silly situation because government regulations make it extremely difficult to perform those studies. However, new Attorney General William Barr has said he supports more marijuana research, and the more individual states do, the higher the likelihood this will change.The bottom line is that the DEA's blessing is necessary for marijuana to be legalized. If all other parties, including Congress and President Trump, get behind legalization, the DEA will have no choice but to succumb to the pressure. Catalyst 5: The Farm BillSomething called the Farm Bill doesn't sound all that exciting, but believe me, it is. The bill legalized hemp in the United States for the first time in over 80 years.To be clear, the legalization of hemp did not have any direct effect on marijuana laws. But it did open up the conversation of doing the same thing with cannabis, which is important. If the Farm Bill was a test run of legalization, the government should be satisfied.We're already seeing demand for hemp-related goods. Products that include cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive part of the plant, are now found in food, drinks, skincare products, etc. What's more, they are available at places like CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA), and Bed, Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY). The hemp-CBD market is expected to balloon 40X over the next few years. Catalyst 6: Money, Money, MoneyGood or bad, right or wrong, many decisions are made based on money. When it comes to marijuana, the dollar signs are too big to ignore.The amount of tax revenue that states could generate from legal marijuana is impressive. And when politicians of one state watch neighboring states bring in revenue, it puts pressure on them to get in on the action. Thus, the snowball effect of more states legalizing marijuana.Job creation is an often overlooked benefit of legalization. One study shows that marijuana could result in over 300,000 new jobs by 2020.California has already created 80,000 jobs in the marijuana industry, according to a study from ICF International. To put that into money terms - that is a $3.5 billion increase in labor income. And guess what? More income taxes as well.All states would love to have hundreds of millions in additional revenue. So would the federal government… which is a big reason for the bold prediction I'm making now.The United States is flying towards legalization, which means U.S. pot stocks have massive potential ahead. As an investor, you need to grab your slice of that pie. However you feel about marijuana, numbers don't lie, and getting in on the ground floor of a mega-trend like this is how you build explosive wealth.But it's critical to get in BEFORE America legalizes nationally.Marijuana stocks are about to deliver their next wave of wealth much quicker than you'd think. Click here for my presentation on the topic.Matthew McCall is the founder and president of Penn Financial Group, an investment advisory firm, as well as the editor of Investment Opportunities and Early Stage Investor. He has dedicated his career to getting investors into the world's biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being "first" gave Matt's readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA), +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), +611% in Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (LNGLY), +324% in Bitcoin Services (BTSC), just to name a few. If you're interested in making triple-digit gains from the world's biggest investment trends BEFORE anyone else, click here to learn more about Matt McCall and his investments strategy today. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Dangerous Dividend Stocks to Stay Far Away From * 7 Tips for New Investors Young and Old * 10 Great Stocks to Buy on Dips Compare Brokers The post 6 Signs That Marijuana Legalization is Closer Than You Think appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    CVS Stock Might Look Cheap, but It Is a Value Trap

    If you follow social media, you'll see a ton of people calling CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) a compelling bargain right now. The stock sells for just over book value, 7.6x forward earnings, and offers a more than 3.5% dividend yield. For investors in the Peter Lynch "buy what you know" school of investing, CVS stock seems appealing. A respected company with omnipresent stores across the country selling at a deeply discounted valuation. So what's not to like?Source: Mike Mozart via FlickrThere are a few reasons for caution on CVS stock, despite the apparent positives. For one, the company has become far more than a pharmacy chain. And in its numerous acquisitions, it has loaded the company up with debt and risk.For another, the company's profit margins are under fire on many sides. The stock market isn't being unreasonable in pricing CVS stock for a series of difficult years ahead.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Great Stocks to Buy on Dips Dangerous Empire-BuildingI was never a fan of CVS' move into the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) space. It may feel quite closely related to the main business; a PBM manages prescription benefits for self-insured companies, government organizations and other such entities that don't use a major health insurance operator. CVS could certainly achieve cost savings by fusing these two operations together, right?In practice, though, they are quite separate businesses. Dealing with private companies and Medicare is much different than running its pharmacies and walk-in clinics. As it would so happen, both retail pharmacy and PBMs have been struggling over the past few years, so CVS' diversification did little to alter its trajectory as compared with Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE:WBA).That said, CVS recently went all-in on becoming a one-stop health care destination. It made a gigantic $68 billion deal for health insurer Aetna. This was reportedly a defensive move, as Aetna itself was a major client of CVS' PBM. Buying them kept that business in-house rather than risking defection; it also took one major M&A target off the market. This was viewed as an important move to try to keep Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) from potentially entering the industry.Now, with the Aetna deal closed, CVS controls a significant chunk of the whole health care supply chain, from a walk-in flu shot on up through drug dispensing, Medicare management, and private health insurance. Deals Don't Inspire ConfidenceUnfortunately, this health care colossus faces a number of challenges. For one, management is showing questionable judgment. Its $12.7 billion acquisition of Omnicare in 2015 has already led to more than $6 billion in write-offs. CVS both misread that market in long-term care and also overestimated how many synergies there would be in the deal.This is problematic, since a large number of analysts believe CVS overpaid for Aetna. They offered a sizable premium to a stock that was already trading at all-time highs and was up exponentially heading into the deal. Aetna stock traded in the $20s a decade ago; CVS paid more than $200 per share.Interestingly, between 1977 and 2000, Aetna stock created only modest value for its shareholders. In a normal health care market, a health insurance firm should not spike in value nearly 10-fold inside of a decade. If you want to see why health care costs are soaring, the PBMs and the health insurers are a great place to look. Political Risk LoomsRecently, we've see a huge blame the other person game going on with health care costs. The drug companies say prescription pills are expensive because the PBMs and health insurers are overcharging everyone, taking way too much of a cut as middlemen. The health insurers are blaming the PBMs for overcharging them. The PBMs, in turn, have been blaming the pharmacies.This has been a profitable game for the past decade, everyone inflating costs while blaming someone else, but it won't and can't go on much longer. The health care system is simply too expensive for this sort of activity to drag on indefinitely.CVS is again promising huge synergies with the Aetna deal, but they won't get them. CVS is essentially competing against itself here in a way, as you have the entities that were all sticking each other with excessive costs now under one roof. With only CVS standing between the pharmaceutical company and the end patient, it will be far harder for CVS to wring so-called excessive profits out of this system.You see analysts expecting profit margins (which are already trending well downward) to continue dropping for both retail pharmacy and PBMs. Perhaps CVS felt compelled to buy Aetna as the health insurers are still doing better for the time being. These sorts of gains can't keep up if Medicare is going to remain solvent. Unfortunately for CVS, they top-ticked the market buying Aetna for an absurd price.Already shares of other health insurers have plummeted this year, with UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) and Humana (NYSE:HUM) both dropping around 30% since December.This fall has coincided with the rise of anti-private health insurance candidates such as Bernie Sanders for the 2020 presidential election. Health insurance costs will be a major campaign issue, and CVS has launched itself into the crossfire by paying up for Aetna. CVS Stock VerdictAs I mentioned, it's easy to make a case that CVS stock is cheap on valuation. However, there are several things to take into account before hitting the buy button. For one, CVS has a huge debt load post-Aetna, with its $70 billion debt just about equal to the company's market cap. The company's earnings will need to be channeled in large part to managing its debt rather than dividend hikes or share buybacks for the time being.Additionally, nearly all segments of the business are struggling. Retail pharmacy has issues, as results from Walgreens and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) have confirmed. PBMs have been weak in recent years, and now Aetna is at risk as the politicians threaten to regulate profits from that sector sharply lower or outlaw big chunks of the business entirely.Finally, CVS' management has not shown good discipline in dealmaking, first with the disastrous Omnicare deal and now this most questionable Aetna one. With the health care industry passing through such trying times, CVS stock is an easy avoid for the time being.At the time of this writing, Ian Bezek owned WBA stock. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Great Stocks to Buy on Dips * 6 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 4 Mega-Cap Stocks to Sell Before They Melt Down Compare Brokers The post CVS Stock Might Look Cheap, but It Is a Value Trap appeared first on InvestorPlace.