160.44 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 5:16PM EDT
|Bid||160.37 x 800|
|Ask||161.80 x 1000|
|Day's Range||159.38 - 161.96|
|52 Week Range||141.95 - 226.61|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.05|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||13.85|
|Earnings Date||Oct 31, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.04 (0.02%)|
|1y Target Est||213.84|
The global economy is starting to look a little shaky. Between the US-China trade tensions and now the Iranian-sponsored attacks on Saudi Arabian oil output, the pressures on the world system of trade and commerce are increasing. As CLSA’s Eric Fishwick said, “Trade both ways has slowed… the trade wars are definitely having an impact.” And in an effort to calm markets after the drone attack on his company’s largest facility, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said, “We have enough oil products to supply the local market.”After posting losses on Monday, both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones were up slightly on Tuesday. The S&P gained 0.26%, while the Dow added 0.13%. A look at the charts, however, shows that the sharp gains the markets have posted since August 23 have slowed and levelled off. Investors are watching the news and getting nervous.A wise investor will move to protect his portfolio, and we’ve found three Strong Buy stocks in the TipRanks database to do just that. These are large-cap health insurers, offering a product that remains in high demand no matter what the economic conditions, and generating high returns through share appreciation over the long-run. They are not cheap stocks, but they are classic defensive plays for an uncertain market environment. Anthem, Inc.With 40 million members, Anthem (ANTM – Get Report) is the largest managed care company in the Blue Cross Blue Shield network. It is the largest health insurer in California, the country’s largest state-wide market. ANTM shares are up 123% over the past five years, and the company’s dividend, while yielding a modest 1.24%, pays out an appreciable $3.20 per share annually.Anthem’s earnings reflect the company’s strong position in the health care market. In the second quarter, Anthem reported a net profit of $1.14 billion on quarterly revenues of $25.47 billion. EPS, at $4.64, was in line with the expected $4.62. Both profits and EPS were up year-over-year; net profits by 8.5% and EPS by 9%.Robust earnings and a solid position in its industry prompted Deutsche Bank analyst George Hill to start coverage of this stock with a Buy rating. He set a $323 price target, and noted, “The company's execution has been strong recently, even though we see some implementation risk [from] relatively lower exposure to the faster-growing segments of the market.” Hill’s price target suggests an upside potential of 25%.ANTM stock has a unanimous Buy consensus from the Street; 7 analysts have given this company a Buy in the past three months. Shares sell for $257, and the average price target of $345 implies a potential upside of 34%. Cigna Holding CompanyWith 5-year growth of 75%, and a Q2 earnings positive surprise of 13%, Cigna (CI – Get Report) is another solid performer in the health insurance industry. The company offers medical and dental, as well as accident, disability, and life insurance products around the world.Oppenheimer analyst Michael Wiederhorn, who has a 65% success rate with his stock recommendations, sees CI as a compelling buy. His price target of $254 suggests an impressive upside of 57%. In his comments, Wiederhorn states, “The [business] environment has certainly changed, with regulatory pressure affecting all ends of the pharmaceutical supply chain, but he believes the depressed multiples are well overdone.”Analyst George Hill, quoted above, also likes CI, enough to initiate coverage with a Buy rating. He writes, “The company's PBM segment does not contain the significant short-term earnings risk implied by the steep discount of the stock price. We believe its core commercial MCO and the perceived cross sales benefit could drive its multiple expansion.” Hill’s $207 price target implies an upside of 28%.Like Anthem, Cigna has a unanimous consensus rating of Strong Buy – in the last three months, the stock has been given 8 buy ratings. Cigna shares sell for $161, making it significantly less expensive than Anthem or UnitedHealth (see below), and its average price target of $214 gives the stock a 32% upside potential. UnitedHealth Group, Inc.UnitedHealth (UNH – Get Report) benefits from scale – it is the world’s largest health insurer and boasts over 115 million customers. Its 2018 revenue totaled over $225 billion, with over $17 billion realized in profits. More recently, UNH posted a 3.9% positive earnings surprise on Q2 EPS of $3.60. While the company’s growth has slowed in the past year, sheer scale ensures that it will remain profitable. The strong dividend, paying out $4.32 per share annually, makes this stable stock a favorite for return-minded investors.Continued profitability lies behind 4-star analyst A. J. Rice’s optimism on the stock. The Credit Suisse analyst gives UNH a buy rating with a $293 price target. Rice says of UNH, “The company gave the impression that the moderation in enrollment growth it’s seeing this year was largely expected... However, it also stressed that its goal of 13-16% EPS growth is a long-term target implying that 2020 is an unlikely timeframe to see such substantial improvements."Our current 2020 estimates anticipate 10% Y/Y growth. If UNH posts modest upside relative to our Q3 and Q4 2019 estimates, our 2020 $16.30 EPS est could then represent roughly 8-10% growth. This type of growth seems a reasonable initial target.” Rice’s price target suggests a potential upside of 26% for UNH shares. He has a 63% success rate with his recommendations on this stock.Overall, UNH holds a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus, with 10 buys and 2 holds given in the past three months. Shares in UNH sell for $232, making it the most expensive of the stocks in this list. The $298 price target suggests an upside of 28%.Visit TipRanks’ Trending Stocks page and find out what else the Street’s top analysts are looking at.
For the third consecutive year, Cigna has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices , with recognition from the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index .
Global health service company Cigna is expanding its individual health care exchange offerings to new geographies for 2020, with health plans now available in 19 markets across 10 states. Cigna's plans on the individual health care exchanges will include a number of features that provide access to quality health care and encourage individuals to live a healthy life – all while holding down out-of-pocket costs. Cigna customers will be able to access preventive care services* and will have expanded online access to doctors through Cigna's telehealth service** at no additional cost to them.
Ahead of the U.S. 2020 presidential election, some investors are concerned that discussions regarding healthcare reform could take a toll on both share prices and valuations. That being said, one analyst believes that compelling investment opportunities can still be found within the managed care space. Managed care refers to various healthcare plans that try to reduce costs by controlling the type and level of services provided.Deutsche Bank’s George Hill just initiated coverage on 3 healthcare stocks, giving each a Buy rating based on their “attractive” potential for growth on September 11. Using the TipRanks Stock Comparison tool, we compared how the stocks measure up against each other based on year-to-date gain, analyst consensus as well as average analyst price target. Each of these stocks has amassed significant support from other Wall Street analysts with a “Strong Buy” analyst consensus. This is based on the last three months’ worth of ratings from the rest of the Street. Let’s dive in. CVS Health CVS Health (CVS\- Get Report) provides health plans and services under three segments that include pharmacy services, retail and long-term care as well as health care benefits. Out of the three healthcare stocks on our list, Hill cites CVS as his top pick based on its level of diversification. While shares are down 2% year-to-date, CVS has slowly but surely been working its way back up gaining 18% in the last three months. With all that the drug store and pharmacy chain has going for it, Hill sees even more growth on the way. It has about 10,000 pharmacies across the U.S. and plans to open 1,500 HealthHub stores by the end of 2021. He also highlights its integrated care delivery, which can improve beneficiary care as well as cut costs.That being said, a significant portion of its revenue is generated from its non-managed care organization (MCO) segments. CVS’ non-MCO businesses include the largest PBM, the second-largest pharmacy chain, long-term care and other services. While some investors originally expressed concerns regarding its $70 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna in 2018, management has tried to mitigate any fears. On June 4, the company conveyed that once the two companies are fully integrated, it could see low-double digit percent earnings growth by 2022. Hill argues that the company is poised to meet its guidance based on its business strategy. “We see the company as well positioned to deliver on a vertical integration care delivery strategy, allowing the company to take share and generate positive earnings surprise. We also see the valuation of CVS shares as highly compelling and capturing potential execution and integration risks,” he explained. As a result, the three-star analyst initiated coverage with a Buy and set a $91 price target, suggesting 42% upside. All in all, the rest of the Street takes a similar position. CVS boasts a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus and a $72 average price target, indicating 13% upside potential, the lowest on the list. Anthem Inc. While shares of the health insurer have slid 3% year-to-date, Hill tells investors that the dip in Anthem (ANTM\- Get Report) presents a unique buying opportunity. Recently, Anthem has attracted attention for its new PBM strategy. The company announced in March that its PBM, IngenioRX, will be more transparent and customer-friendly, with the new PBM passing along rebates to pharmacy customers. Traditional PBMs get rebate payments from drug manufacturers in exchange for placing medications on PBMs’ lists of covered drugs, or formularies. According to management, this new strategy could reduce costs and simplify services.It should be noted that IngenioRx is the product of its partnership with CVS that involves a five-year agreement signed back in 2017. CVS has its own Caremark PBM, and only processes claims and handles tasks related to prescription fulfillment for IngenioRX. Anthem has full control over clinical strategy and decides which drugs are covered. In addition to revamping its PBM strategy, its 2018 acquisitions of Aspire Health and America’s 1st Choice as well as HealthSun in 2017 are expected to drive substantial Medicare Advantage growth. Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to original medicare that let beneficiaries choose to get their coverage through private insurance companies that contract with Medicare.While all of the above supports a strong long-term growth narrative, Hill notes that there are some risks associated with Anthem. “While execution has been strong recently, we see some implementation risk on the company’s PBM strategy, risk to the company’s Medicare Advantage growth targets, less exposure to faster-growing segments of the market and a rich relative valuation,” he stated. Nonetheless, the potential reward outweighs this risk. With his coverage initiation, Hill set a $323 price target which implies 28% upside. With 7 Buy ratings vs no Holds or Sells received in the last three months, the word on the Street is that ANTM is a ‘Strong Buy’. Its $345 average price target demonstrates the potential for 36% upside, the highest on our list. Cigna CorporationAs Cigna (CI\- Get Report) shares have declined 15% year-to-date, the Deutsche Bank analyst argues that shares are now trading at a discount. Some investors have expressed concerns that the health insurance company is overexposed in both the PBM and commercial business space. In December 2018, CI finalized its $67 billion merger with PBM Express Scripts in order to expand its reach within the sector. The merger could be a problem for CI as regulations have been proposed that would impair the PBM business model. This poses a major threat to CI as its primary non-MCO revenue comes from large PBMs. While no legislation has been passed yet, there is always a possibility that this could change. A significant portion of CI’s revenue is also generated from its commercial products. The commercial MCO space includes risk-bearing insurance and administrative services only (ASO). Hill states that while this space can be more profitable, it is slower growing than the government-pay business as the commercial business is largely stagnant. While acknowledging that Cigna is behind the curve in terms of its reach within the government-pay space, he still believes the stock is poised to soar. “We view Cigna’s PBM segment earnings as not having significant short-term earnings risk and the company’s diversified earnings stream as undeserving of the steep discount applied to the shares in the wake of the Express Scripts merger,” he explained. As a result, the analyst initiated coverage with a Buy and set a $207 price target. The price target reflects his confidence in CI’s ability to surge 29% over the next twelve months.Wall Street seems to agree with Hill. CI has only been assigned Buy ratings in the last three months. Its average price target of $214 indicates 33% upside potential, falling just short of ANTM’s. Find Wall Street’s most loved stocks with the Top Analysts’ Stocks tool
Are you ready? JP Morgan is predicting a sizable shift in investing. According to the firm’s chief US equity strategist, Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, style positioning remains primed for a rotation to Value from Momentum/ Low Volatility.He made the call last week after the market experienced one of the largest 3-day Momentum-Value rotations in over 30 years. The trigger: better than expected economic data, monetary and fiscal stimulus, easing trade tensions, and stabilization in yields. In the current rotation ~5 months of Momentum outperformance was given back in only 3 days, noted Lakos-Bujas. “The correlation between Value and Momentum is near 30-year lows, signaling extremely oversold positioning for Value” he writes, adding that history suggests that Momentum sell-offs of similar magnitude are on average followed by prolonged Momentum underperformance, Value outperformance, and a flat to higher equity market. So with this outlook in mind, which value stocks should you consider adding to your portfolio now? The Value PortfolioHere we take a closer look at three hot stocks in the Top 10 holdings of JP Morgan’s Large Cap Value Fund. To come up with these holdings, the firm analyzes company prospects for as long as five years, to gain insight into a company's real growth potential. Its goal: to identify the most undervalued securities in each sector“Looks for attractive valuations as well as catalysts for stock price increases, higher potential reward versus risk, and temporary mispricing caused by market overreactions” writes the firm. With this strategy in mind let’s dive into three of the portfolio’s key holdings. 1\. Marathon Petroleum CorpMarathon Petroleum (MPC– Get Report) is an independent petroleum product refiner, marketer and transporter headquartered in Ohio. It’s the largest refiner in the US, with over 3 million barrels per day of capacity across 16 refineries. At the same time, MPC also is the general partner of a midstream partnership, MPLX LP (MPLX), and has a network of nearly 4,000 company-owned retail stations.“We continue to favor coastal refiners (OW-rated MPC, PSX and VLO), who have an opportunity for modestly wider coastal differentials for both light (MEH/LLS) and heavy (Maya/WCS) crudes” cheered JP Morgan analyst Phil Gresh on September 10. He has just reiterated his buy rating with a $62 price target (16% upside potential). According to Gresh, MPC trades inexpensively on a sum-of-the-parts basis, “around which we hope that the company will look to unlock value soon.” Indeed, the Street as a whole has a bullish outlook on Marathon Petroleum. The stock shows a Strong Buy consensus with a $67 average analyst price target. For instance, RBC Capital’s Brad Heffern reiterated his buy rating following the company’s latest earnings results. He notes that MPC recently acquired ANDV, and achieving a $1.4 billion synergy target would be a major catalyst. “In our opinion, Marathon's retail business, Speedway, is the most attractive retail franchise in our coverage universe, and the extension of the Speedway model to the acquired ANDV stores could provide meaningful upside” the analyst wrote. 2\. Comcast CorpTelecoms giant Comcast (CMCSA– Get Report) is the number 1 holding in JP Morgan’s Large Cap Value portfolio (at 4.3% of the portfolio). The firm’s Philip Cusick recently singled out CMCSA as one of his top picks in the cables industry, calling it undervalued based on the company’s strong free cash flow. Encouragingly, this ‘Strong Buy’ stock has received only buy ratings from the Street in the last three months. And you can also add to the mix a rare Conviction Buy rating from Goldman Sachs’ Brett Feldman. That’s with an average analyst price target of $53 (12% upside potential). Bear in mind shares have already surged 38% year-to-date. Five-star Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan is one of 10 analysts currently bullish on Comcast. He upgraded CMCSA on September 5, explaining: “We think cable can become a 50%-plus EBITDA margin business on lower CAPX, while still growing broadband share and pricing with superior service.”“CMCSA has 1 gig availability in nearly 100% of its network, and we expect CMCSA to continue to increase ARPUs 4% per year. Negatively, we expect carriers to roll out 5G aggressively, which adds competition but not until 2021 or later” Horan wrote. His $54 price target stands marginally above the average analyst price target. 3 Cigna Corp Health insurance stock Cigna (CI– Get Report) is the joint third largest holding in the JP Morgan Large Cap Value Fund. Like Comcast, the stock shows 100% buy ratings from the Street with 8 bullish calls from analysts over the last three months. Meanwhile the $214 price target translates into sizable upside potential of 33%. Five-star Oppenheimer analyst Michael Wiederhorn believes that CIGNA remains one of the most attractive areas to invest for the long-term and continues to offer some of the most compelling value.In particular, the Street is keeping a close eye on the massive $67 billion merger with Express Scripts which closed at the end of last year. The deal, which paired a health insurance giant with the US's largest pharmacy benefit manager, should pay strong long-term returns for shareholders. That’s thanks to a compelling opportunity to cross-sell services, alongside a more equity-friendly capital structure. “Given the stock's attractive valuation, we believe long-term holders will ultimately be rewarded. As a result, we maintain our Outperform rating and would continue to be buyers” commented Wiederhorn. Even though regulatory pressure affects all ends of the pharmaceutical supply chain, he believes that the stock’s depressed multiples are well overdone.Discover Wall Street’s most loved stocks with the Top Analysts’ Stocks tool
I listened to Leon Cooperman’s talk at an event hosted by the New York Alternative Investment Roundtable. There were a few members of the media present at the event and they decided that the most interesting part of Cooperman’s talk was his comments regarding the private equity industry. “I think it’s a scam personally” Cooperman […]
Pharmaceutical companies and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers are generally at odds in a battle over drug prices. So, who is actually responsible for high prescription prices?
The sector has lagged behind the broader market, partly because of concern that the government could act to rein in drug prices.
President & CEO of Cigna Corp (30-Year Financial, Insider Trades) David Cordani (insider trades) bought 32,509 shares of CI on 09/09/2019 at an average price of $155.17 a share. Continue reading...
New Founders establish IEIC as the leader in diversifying, securing and improving the Internet's Digital Economy. Leading automotive manufacturer, public sector county and leading global Internet Exchange ...
Global health service company Cigna (CI) and its Express Scripts unit are helping residents of Florida affected by Hurricane Dorian by easing some health benefits plan and prescription requirements, and expanding access to a toll-free help line. Cigna and Express Scripts will continue to monitor the situation and take additional steps to help our customers as needed, in concert with emergency or disaster declarations by local, state and federal authorities, to ensure customers continue to have access to pharmacy and medical care. Cigna may extend the expiration date for these temporary measures and expand the geographic range based on the path Hurricane Dorian takes and local conditions.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: First Horizon National, Cigna, Ally Financial and Och-Ziff Capital Management
The Cigna Foundation announced a $136,000 grant to Pace Center for Girls Broward, a Florida nonprofit organization that provides girls with an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. The purpose of Pace is to intervene and prevent school withdrawal, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and welfare dependence in a safe and nurturing environment. “We are grateful to the Cigna Foundation for their support in the expansion of the Pace Reach Program.
The partnership is the first of its kind for Ascension, which operates 151 hospitals across the country.
The right mergers and acquisitions (M&A;) can make a good company even better by opening up new markets, expanding capabilities and market share, and diversifying product lines.Not every deal is a guaranteed winner, but investors typically benefit from smart M&A.; A 2016 Booth Business School study found, on average, an increase in overall value for both the acquiring and acquired companies at the time of the merger, and a long-term rise in value for companies that made cash acquisitions.Consider the $81 billion merger between Exxon and Mobil in 1999 that created Exxon Mobil (XOM) - now a $300 billion goliath and the largest publicly traded energy company on U.S. exchanges. Or there's Walt Disney's (DIS) $6 billion buyout of Pixar in 2006. The studio's animated films have generated nearly $11 billion in worldwide box office alone, not accounting for merchandise and other related opportunities.Last year was an especially good year for corporate M&A; thanks to major catalysts provided by tax reform, low borrowing costs and a healthy stock market. Dealmaking hit near-record levels last year. According to Mergermarket, 5,718 transactions closed, and deal volume exceeded $1.5 trillion - the second-highest total ever. Also noteworthy was last year's surge in "mega-deals" - transactions valued at more than $10 billion. These included Keurig Dr. Pepper's (KDP) $27 billion acquisition of soft drink maker Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and pharmacy chain CVS Health's (CVS) $70 billion takeover of health insurance provider Aetna.Here are 15 large-cap stocks that are looking for big things out of their pending or recently closed M&A; deals. These mergers and acquisitions are either already sparking new life in the acquiring companies, or analysts and other market professionals expect them to do so over the coming years. SEE ALSO: The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 47 Buffett Stocks Explained
While several global economic and geopolitical concerns have led to sell-off in the finance stocks recently, the industry's fundamental strength and growth initiatives keep it poised for growth.