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May 1, 2012

Biogen profit below Street view; outlook strong

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Biogen Idec Inc’s (BIIB.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) quarterly profit fell short of analysts’ estimates on weak sales of its Avonex multiple sclerosis treatment, its biggest-selling product.

But the biotechnology company said the Avonex shortfall stemmed largely from temporary issues and it also issued an encouraging forecast for 2012. The company’s shares were off about 1 percent in afternoon trading.

Apr 30, 2012

Humana profit falls 21 pct, missing Street view

April 30 (Reuters) – Humana Inc posted a 21 percent
decline in quarterly profit on Monday, missing Wall Street’s
target, as higher medical benefit costs weighed on the health
insurer’s results. Its shares fell 3.5 percent in premarket
trading.

The first-quarter report from Humana, one of the largest
providers of Medicare plans for the elderly, comes after rival
insurers Aetna Inc and Coventry Health Care Inc
posted lower-than-expected profits last week.

Apr 27, 2012

Medicaid costs weigh on Coventry; shares dive

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Insurer Coventry Health Care Inc (CVH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and issued a disappointing full-year outlook as costs from a Medicaid plan for low-income Americans weighed heavily on results, and its shares fell 11 percent.

While overall enrollment in Coventry’s Medicaid plans nearly doubled in the first quarter, costs for a plan in Kentucky were well above premiums.

Apr 26, 2012

Aetna profit misses analysts’ target, shares fall

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Health insurer Aetna Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as higher claim costs and administrative expenses weighed on results, and shares fell nearly 9 percent.

Aetna, whose shares had outperformed rivals this year, is the first major health insurer to miss earnings estimates for the first quarter, after WellPoint Inc and UnitedHealth Group Inc posted higher-than-expected profits and raised their full-year outlooks.

Apr 25, 2012

Watson to buy Actavis for at least $5.6 billion

By Lewis Krauskopf and Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Wednesday it agreed to buy Actavis Group for at least 4.25 billion euros ($5.60 billion), in a deal that cements its status as one of the world’s biggest suppliers of generic drugs and expands its international presence.

Reuters first reported on March 21 that U.S.-based Watson was close to buying the Swiss drugmaker to help it compete more effectively against rivals Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and the Novartis unit Sandoz.

Apr 25, 2012

Watson to buy Actavis for at least 4.25 bln euros

April 25 (Reuters) – Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc said
on Wednesday it agreed to buy Actavis Group for at least 4.25
billion euros ($5.60 billion), in a deal that cements its status
as one of the world’s biggest suppliers of generic drugs and
expands its international presence.

Reuters first reported on March 21 that U.S.-based Watson
was close to buying the Swiss drugmaker to help it compete more
effectively against rivals Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
and the Novartis unit Sandoz.

Apr 25, 2012

WellPoint raises outlook as profit tops views

April 25 (Reuters) – WellPoint Inc reported a lower
quarterly profit as membership fell, but the results topped Wall
Street’s target, and the health insurer raised its outlook.

The No. 2 health insurer by market value also said the
performance of its Medicare business had improved after problems
with such plans dragged down results in 2011.

Apr 19, 2012

UnitedHealth raises outlook as profit rises

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a higher-than-expected 3 percent rise in quarterly profit on Thursday, benefiting from an increase in membership across its health plans and lower-than-expected medical claims.

The largest U.S. health insurer by market value also raised its full-year profit outlook, and its shares rose 1.2 percent.

Apr 18, 2012

SXC to buy Catalyst in $4.4 billion drug benefit deal

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – SXC Health Solutions Corp said it will buy rival pharmacy benefit manager Catalyst Health Solutions Inc for $4.4 billion as it seeks to keep pace in the rapidly consolidating market for managing Americans’ prescriptions.

The deal comes only two weeks after Express Scripts Inc closed its $29 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions, creating the clear leader in the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) sector.

Apr 18, 2012

SXC to buy Catalyst in $4.4 bln deal

April 18 (Reuters) – SXC Health Solutions Corp
said it will buy rival pharmacy benefit manager
Catalyst Health Solutions Inc for $4.4 billion as it
seeks to keep pace in the rapidly consolidating market for
managing Americans’ prescriptions.

The deal comes only two weeks after Express Scripts Inc
closed its $29 billion acquisition of Medco Health
Solutions, creating the clear leader in the pharmacy benefit
management (PBM) sector.

    • About Lewis

      "I help coordinate coverage of healthcare companies for Reuters in the United States. I also cover health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, generic drugmakers and pharmaceutical companies."
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