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Qisda expects medical care revenues to grow 30% in 2022

Qisda expects 2021 sales from medical care products made by affiliated BenQ Group and outside partners to increase 37% on year and to rise another 30% in 2022 thanks to new clients and products to be launched, according to company vice president Harry Yang for Medical Devices and Products Group......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesDec 4th, 2021

4 Health Insurers Poised to Maintain Winning Streak in 2022

Buoyed by government support and technological improvements, stocks in the health insurance industry are likely to witness increased product demand. UNH, ANTM, CNC & MOH are well positioned to make the most of the market improvement. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on different business sectors. The health insurance industry was not left unscathed by its adverse impact. Nonetheless, looking back at 2021, we see that the companies in this industry have been bouncing back, thanks to rising enrolment, product modifications, improved services and cost management, better claims handling, technological upgrades, and many more strategic initiatives. In fact, government aids and better pricing helped health insurers to rise above the losses incurred on several occasions.Now let’s see how the industry is performing.HMOs OutperformingStocks of the health insurance industry, more popularly called Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), have been recovering at an impressive rate. Bullish investor sentiments regarding this industry are evident. In the past six months, the HMO industry has jumped 18.3% compared with an 8.8% increase of the S&P 500 Index and a 9.4% decline of the overall medical sector.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe industry is not only expected to retain the momentum but also turn up the heat in 2022. Support from the government is expected to play a crucial role going forward.Continued Government SupportThe government’s backing of the Affordable Care Act is one of the major positives for the health insurers and acts as the bedrock for the industry. It is bringing more Americans under the health insurance coverage, in turn buoying health insurers’ top line. The Special Open Enrollment window has given Americans another chance to buy insurance coverage online on health exchanges, leading to membership growth. Looking ahead, moves like lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 from 65 through the Improving Medicare Coverage Act can expand Medicare to more than 23 million people. This will likely result in more business wins for health insurers, indicating a long-term boon for the industry.Importantly, Medicare and Medicaid — the government-sponsored programs for the retiring population and underprivileged — have been in great demand for a while now among a huge population of baby boomers nearing retirement age. Both these schemes saw growing participation of health insurance companies as states reach out to them to effectively manage the expenses of these plans.Other Major Growth DriversThe pandemic fueled the adoption of telehealth facilities in 2020 and 2021. Remote healthcare has become a safe and efficient way for medical assistance in the current scenario. The year 2022 is expected to see further improvement of technologies and new innovations, which will support the greater adoption of telehealth services. Hence, we expect to see more investment in telehealth infrastructure. This is expected to bring about a positive impact on health insurers. In fact, several companies are enhancing their virtual healthcare services and offerings to aid their members.Technological improvements are expected to accelerate the usage of chatbots and AI-based voice, assistants, augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, mobile-based apps, robots, and cloud computing, among others. This should optimize healthcare delivery and workflow, minimize unnecessary costs, enhance operational efficiency as well as boost customer experience. Insurers who can bridge the physical-virtual chasm will be the frontrunners in the industry.The pandemic forced the companies to reduce expenses through cost-cutting measures and optimizing their portfolios. This not only positively impacted the bottom line but also led to better usage of available capital. We expected the trend to continue in 2022 as well, which will increase the profit levels and generate more cash from operations.4 Stocks on the WatchlistThe overall bullish scenario is expected to result in consistent growth of the industry, which should drive the prospects of the companies with strong business fundamentals. Considering their operational strength, we have selected four health insurance stocks with the help of the Zacks Stock Screener that have gained more than 20% year to date and are well poised to keep the momentum alive in 2022. These stocks currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Their estimates have seen northward revisions for 2022.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH: Its shares have jumped 37.9% in the year-to-date period. A strong market position and an attractive core business that continues to be driven by new deals, renewed agreements, and expansion of service offerings should help it retain the momentum. Its expansion of the health services segment and the international business provides significant diversification benefits and shields it from stringent regulations in the United States.UnitedHealth’s health service business, branded as Optum, is becoming increasingly valuable. It is also crucial to the company’s diversification strategy. The primary growth drivers for Optum are pharmacy care services, care delivery, technology, government services and international. UNH expects 2022 revenues in the $317-$320 billion range, indicating an increase from the 2021 estimated figure of $287 billion. This will be the first time for the company to cross the $300-billion revenue mark in a year. Its moves of combining the insurance unit with the provision of medical care business bode well. Also, for 2022, UnitedHealth expects operating cash flows within $23-$24 billion.Lower operating costs are expected to boost its bottom line in 2022. It boasts a strong earnings surprise history. UnitedHealth beat earnings estimates in all the last four quarters, with the average being 8.7%.UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Price and EPS Surprise UnitedHealth Group Incorporated price-eps-surprise | UnitedHealth Group Incorporated QuoteAnthem, Inc. ANTM: Its shares have risen 36.9% year to date. Anthem’s top-line improvement remains impressive, witnessing a four-year CAGR of 9% (2015-2020). We expect the favorable top-line trend to continue, given its strong business growth, membership hike and significant new contracts in the government business. Several contract wins and organic growth are expected to keep driving Anthem’s membership, in turn boosting the top line.Strategic buyouts and collaborations along with the company’s expanded product portfolio should drive long-term growth. This June, ANTM completed the purchase of Puerto Rico-based subsidiaries including MMM Holdings from InnovaCare Health. Also, this November, Anthem agreed to acquire Integra Managed Care to expand the Medicaid business. Anthem was awarded a contract to serve the retirees in New York in partnership with Emblem Health. All these initiatives bode well for the company.Anthem’s bottom line for 2022 is expected to grow 10.1% year over year. It beat earnings estimates thrice in the last four quarters and missed once, with an average surprise of 4.7%.Anthem, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise Anthem, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Anthem, Inc. QuoteCentene Corporation CNC: It has surged 37.3% in the year-to-date period. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Centene's leading position in the industry is largely supported by its prudent operating performance, strong inorganic growth and solid fundamentals. Medical membership of the company has been rising over the last several quarters due to contract wins and expansion across different regions. We expect this trend to continue on the back of certain contract wins.Centene anticipates the broadening of its Medicare Advantage offerings in 2022. The leading health insurance company is expected to provide a wide array of Medicare Advantage plans in 1,575 counties across 36 states during the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. Centene expects total revenues for 2022 in the range of $135.9-$137.9 billion. Adjusted earnings per share are expected within $5.30-$5.50. The adjusted SG&A expense ratio for 2021 is expected within 8.2-8.6% and decline to 7.8-8.3% in 2022.Further, Centene expects to record adjusted earnings of $7.50-$7.75 per share for 2024, thanks to business expansion and optimization. CNC expects the health benefits ratio for 2022 within 87.6-88.2%. Capital expenditure for 2022 is expected to be $1 billion. A solid guidance instills investors’ confidence in the stock. It beat earnings estimates once in the last four quarters and missed thrice.Centene Corporation Price and EPS Surprise Centene Corporation price-eps-surprise | Centene Corporation QuoteMolina Healthcare, Inc. MOH: The stock has gained 40.6% to date this year. It has been gaining from the restructuring and profitability improvement plan. The plan included streamlining of the organizational structure to improve efficiency, speed and quality of decision making. Prudent cost-management efforts and sound scalability of the business are expected to result in a decline in the adjusted G&A ratio.Molina Healthcare’s membership is growing fast, thanks to well-performing Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace businesses. We expect the same to rise on the back of contract wins and strategic initiatives. Various buyouts, such as that of YourCare, are leading to membership growth for the company.Headquartered in Long Beach, CA, Molina Healthcare’s bottom line is expected to grow 27.3% year over year. The company has witnessed four upward estimate revisions in the past 60 days against no movement in the opposite direction. In the last four reported quarters, MOH beat earnings estimates twice and missed on the other two occasions, with the average surprise being 4%.Molina Healthcare, Inc Price and EPS Surprise Molina Healthcare, Inc price-eps-surprise | Molina Healthcare, Inc QuoteWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Molina Healthcare, Inc (MOH): Free Stock Analysis Report Centene Corporation (CNC): Free Stock Analysis Report Anthem, Inc. (ANTM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 21st, 2021

Qisda expects medical care revenues to grow 30% in 2022

Qisda expects 2021 sales from medical care products made by affiliated BenQ Group and outside partners to increase 37% on year and to rise another 30% in 2022 thanks to new clients and products to be launched, according to company vice president Harry Yang for Medical Devices and Products Group......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesDec 4th, 2021

Why Seasoned Investors are Retaining Acadia (ACHC) Stock

Acadia Healthcare's (ACHC) buyouts are helping the company to add facilities, beds and hospitals to its network and contributing to its top line. Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. ACHC is well-poised to grow on the back of robust volumes and operational improvement in the U.S. segment. Streamlining portfolio in order to boost profits is also commendable.Acadia Healthcare — with a market cap of $6.1 billion — provides behavioral health care services in the United States and the U.K. The Franklin, TN-based firm is primarily involved in developing inpatient psychiatric facilities, outpatient behavioral healthcare facilities, residential treatment centers, substance abuse facilities and others.The company beat earnings estimates thrice in the last four quarters and met once, the average surprise being 20.2%.Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. QuoteCourtesy of solid prospects, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock is worth holding on to at the moment.Major PositivesThe company’s revenues witnessed a CAGR of 3.1% in the 2015-2020 period owing to strong organic and inorganic growth. Even though revenues were affected by the coronavirus outbreak initially, a strong performing U.S. business drove the top line. For 2021, revenues are estimated between $2.295 billion and $2.315 billion, the mid-point of which indicates growth of 10% from the 2020 reported figure. Acadia Healthcare’s growth strategy, which includes network expansion through addition of beds, setting up of wholly-owned de novo facilities by strategic joint ventures and acquisitions, bodes well for the top line.Acadia Healthcare has been emphasizing on buyouts for expedited growth. This strategy helped the company to add facilities, beds and hospitals to its network and contributed to the top line. The company remains actively engaged with its acquisition pipeline and expects buyout and joint venture activity to be heavily skewed toward acute facilities in the domestic market. In fact, the company added 104 beds to its existing operations in the third quarter.Acadia Healthcare is also actively pursuing joint ventures (JVs) with renowned healthcare systems, which is helping the company to expand its capabilities through bed additions. The healthcare provider has a robust pipeline of JV projects, which are yet to be completed. This makes the company optimistic about the year 2022. The year 2022 is likely to be its strongest year with respect to JVs as four or five facilities are expected to commence operations. This month, it entered into a JV with California’s renowned integrated healthcare system, Scripps Health, for operating an inpatient behavioral health hospital in the Eastlake community of Chula Vista. The hospital will house 120 beds and a speciality unit, which will cater to the behavioral health treatment of active-duty military and veterans.Its strategic moves to streamline portfolio in order to boost profits are also praiseworthy. It separated the underperforming U.K. operations this year, which was negatively impacting growth. The move enables Acadia Healthcare to improve profitability and achieve growth by focusing on more profitable business.Key ConcernsHowever, there are a few factors that are impeding the growth of the stock lately.ACHC expects 2021 adjusted earnings per share within $2.51-$2.59 down from the earlier view of $2.50-$2.70. Shrinking bottom line can be worrisome. Also, the company’s high leverage remains a cause of concern for investors. Its long-term debt of $1.44 billion is way higher than cash and cash equivalents of $196.3 million, which highlights the company’s weak solvency position. This can affect its financial flexibility. Nevertheless, we believe that a systematic and strategic plan of action will drive its long-term growth.Stocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked players in the medical space include Co-Diagnostics, Inc. CODX, Doximity, Inc. DOCS and Harrow Health, Inc. HROW, each having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Salt Lake City, UT-based Co-Diagnostics’ bottom line for 2021 has witnessed one upward estimate revision in the past 30 days and no movement in the opposite direction. During this time period, its earnings estimates have risen 17.9%. CODX beat earnings estimates thrice in the last four quarters and missed once, the average surprise being 35.6%. The molecular diagnostics company provides a wide range of testing services to customers. Its joint venture CoSara in India is likely to have boosted its addressable market size. Also, Co-Diagnostics’ Logix Smart™ ABC test received a green signal from the Mexican watchdogs. Deals like these will keep strengthening its client base around the world.Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Doximity’s bottom line for 2021 has witnessed four upward estimate revisions in the past 30 days and no movement in the opposite direction. During this time period, its earnings estimates have risen 39%. DOCS’ cloud-based digital platform for medical professionals is expected to keep growing in the coming days. As the coordinated patient care and virtual patient visits are expected to increase, backed by improved technologies, demand for Doximity’s platform will keep rising.Based in San Diego, CA, Harrow Health’s bottom line for 2021 is expected to soar 346.2% year over year. It has witnessed one upward estimate revision in the past 30 days and no movement in the opposite direction. HROW beat earnings estimates thrice in the past four quarters and missed once, the average surprise being 38%. It is an ophthalmic-focused healthcare firm. Its recent acquisitions of ophthalmic surgical drug candidates from Sintetica and Wakamoto Pharmaceutical are major positives. Moves like these will likely bolster Harrow Health’s commercial success in the U.S. and Canadian markets.In the past six months, stocks of Co-Diagnostics, Doximity and Harrow Health rose 15.3%, 25.8% and 8.6%, respectively. Tech IPOs With Massive Profit Potential: Last years top IPOs surged as much as 299% within the first two months. With record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs and a record-setting stock market, this year could be even more lucrative. See Zacks’ Hottest Tech IPOs Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (ACHC): Free Stock Analysis Report Harrow Health, Inc. (HROW): Free Stock Analysis Report CoDiagnostics, Inc. (CODX): Free Stock Analysis Report Doximity, Inc. (DOCS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 30th, 2021

AMN Healthcare (AMN) Loses 13.1% Despite Q3 Earnings Beat

AMN Healthcare's (AMN) robust Q3 results demonstrate its segmental strength. Shares of AMN Healthcare Services Inc. AMN declined 13.1% on Nov 5, following the company's third-quarter 2021 results.The company reported adjusted earnings per share (“EPS”) of $1.73 in the third quarter of 2021 which soared 112% year over year. The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 29.1%.GAAP EPS for the quarter was $1.54, reflecting a significant improvement of 182% from the year-ago figure.Revenues in DetailAMN Healthcare’s third-quarter revenues were $877.8 million, up 59.1% year over year. The top line outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12.3%.Robust segmental performances significantly drove the third-quarter revenues.Segment DetailsAMN Healthcare conducts its business via three reportable segments — Nurse and Allied solutions, Physician and Leadership solutions, and Technology and Workforce Solutions.In the third quarter of 2021, the Nurse and Allied Solutions segment’s revenues totaled $627 million, up 64% year over year. Travel nurse staffing revenues grew 56% year over year, while allied division revenues rose 62% year over year.AMN Healthcare Services Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise AMN Healthcare Services Inc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | AMN Healthcare Services Inc QuoteThe Physician and Leadership Solutions segment’s revenues totaled $151 million, up 38% year over year. This upside can be attributed to 31% growth in Locum tenens revenues. Interim leadership revenues were up 59% year over year. Physician and leadership search businesses witnessed a revenue growth of 33% year over year.The Technology and Workforce Solutions segment’s revenues totaled $100 million, up 67% year over year. Language services business revenues amounted to $47 million in the quarter (up 33% year over year), while the vendor management systems business improved a whopping 113% year over year to reach $33 million.Margin TrendIn the quarter under review, AMN Healthcare’s gross profit surged 65.7% to $305.9 million. Gross margin expanded 130 basis points (bps) to 34.8%.Selling, general & administrative expenses rose 56.4% to $173.93 million.Operating profit totaled $105.8 million, reflecting a 127.8% surge from the prior-year quarter. Adjusted operating margin in the third quarter expanded 370 bps to 12.1%.Financial PositionAMN Healthcare exited the third quarter of 2021 with cash and cash equivalents of $137 million compared with $139.5 million at the end of the second quarter.Cumulative net cash flow from operating activities at the end of the third quarter was $227.4 million compared with $216.9 million a year ago.GuidanceAMN Healthcare has provided its financial outlook for the fourth quarter of 2021.For the fourth quarter, the company expects revenues to be $1.13-$1.15 billion, reflecting growth of around 80% from the prior-year figure. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same stands at $718.5 million.With respect to the Nurse and Allied Solutions segment, the company expects revenues to grow 96-100% higher from the prior-year figure. The Technology and Workforce Solutions segment’s revenues are anticipated to improve around 50% from the prior-year figure.The company projects fourth-quarter revenues at the Physician and Leadership Solutions segment to surge about 35% from the prior-year figure.Our TakeAMN Healthcare exited the third quarter with better-than-expected results. The company recorded robust performance across each of its core segments, and both earnings and revenues improved in the quarter under review. Per management, increased healthcare utilization and a tight labor market have led to record high demand in several areas of the company’s business. This, in turn, bodes well for AMN Healthcare’s collaborations and innovations, which are intended to provide greater access to patient care, thus fueling further confidence. Expansion of both margins bodes well for the stock. An upbeat revenue guidance for the fourth quarter of 2021 is encouraging.However, the company’s reliance on third parties and operation in a stiff competitive space remain headwinds.Zacks RankAMN Healthcare currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Earnings of Other MedTech Majors at a GlanceSome other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that have already announced their quarterly results are Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. WST, and AngioDynamics, Inc. ANGO. While both Thermo Fisher and West Pharmaceutical carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy), AngioDynamics sports a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Thermo Fisher reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $5.76, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 23.3%. Third-quarter revenues of $9.33 billion outpaced the consensus mark by 12%.West Pharmaceutical reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $2.06, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.2%. Third-quarter revenues of $706.5 million outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.2%.AngioDynamics reported first-quarter fiscal 2022 loss per share of 2 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 5 cents. Revenues of $76.9 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.4%. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report AngioDynamics, Inc. (ANGO): Free Stock Analysis Report Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report AMN Healthcare Services Inc (AMN): Free Stock Analysis Report West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 8th, 2021

McKesson (MCK) to Report Q2 Earnings: What"s in the Cards?

McKesson's (MCK) fiscal second-quarter results are likely to reflect the solid show by the U.S. Pharmaceutical and Specialty Solutions segment. McKesson Corporation MCK is scheduled to report second-quarter fiscal 2022 results on Nov 1, after the opening bell.The company delivered an earnings surprise of 35.9% in the last reported quarter. It beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 17.9%.Q2 EstimatesThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for McKesson’s fiscal second-quarter earnings per share is pegged at $4.59, suggesting a decline of 4.4% from the prior-year quarter. The same for revenues stands at $62.76 billion, indicating an improvement of 3.2% from the year-ago reported figure.Factors to NoteMcKesson expects fiscal second-quarter results to reflect segmental strength.The U.S. Pharmaceutical and Specialty Solutions segment might have acted as a key growth driver in the quarter to be reported. In fact, the consensus mark for this segment’s revenues is pegged at $50.89 billion, indicating an improvement of 5.9% from the prior-year quarter.The segment may have benefited from market growth and higher volumes from retail national account customers in the to-be-reported quarter. However, branded to generic conversions might have weighed on the segment’s performance. Nonetheless, the company’s broad spectrum of specialty biopharmaceutical providers and manufacturers is expected to have contributed to the fiscal second-quarter performance.Growing demand for COVID-19 tests and improvement in primary care patient visits are likely to have favored the company’s Medical-Surgical solutions segment.McKesson Corporation Price and EPS Surprise McKesson Corporation price-eps-surprise | McKesson Corporation QuoteMcKesson’s collaboration with the U.S. government's COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort highlighted the company’s role in the COVID-19 response. It was selected by the U.S. government as the centralized distributor of refrigerated and frozen COVID-19 vaccines and the ancillary kits used to administer those vaccines.Per the fiscal first-quarter 2022 earnings call, the company’s U.S. and international distribution businesses have been playing a key role in the pandemic response. Meanwhile, its growing partnership with the United States government's COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts reflects operational excellence and capabilities.Through July 2021, McKesson’s US Pharmaceutical business successfully distributed above 185 million Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccines to administration sites across the United States. The company’s medical business has gathered enough kits to support the administration of above 785 million doses for all vaccine types.In the fiscal first quarter of 2022, the United States government asked McKesson to support their mission of sending millions of COVID-19 vaccines to countries in need across the globe. Again, through July, the company successfully prepared more than 65 million COVID-19 vaccines for shipment abroad. McKesson’s presence in Europe and Canada continues to grow as it partners with local governments to distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines there as well. Through July, the company distributed more than 45 million vaccines to administration sites in select markets throughout these geographies.These positive developments may get reflected in the fiscal second-quarter results.With respect to the company’s corporate segment, opioid-related costs are expected to be around $155 million for fiscal 2022 (it incurred $35 million in the fiscal first quarter). Given the higher opioid-related costs and increased investment in the business, the company now estimates corporate expenses between $670 million and $720 million. Consequently, the fiscal second-quarter results are likely to reflect the impact of the same.What the Zacks Model UnveilsPer our proven model, the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. That’s not the case here.Earnings ESP: McKesson has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Zacks Rank: The company carries a Zacks Rank #3.Stocks Worth a LookHere are some medical stocks worth considering as these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.Insulet Corporation PODD has an Earnings ESP of +15.79% and a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Canopy Growth Corporation CGC has an Earnings ESP of +26.83% and a Zacks Rank of 3.Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. CSII has an Earnings ESP of +24.59% and a Zacks Rank of 3. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report McKesson Corporation (MCK): Free Stock Analysis Report Insulet Corporation (PODD): Free Stock Analysis Report Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSII): Free Stock Analysis Report Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 25th, 2021

Hologic (HOLX) Up on Preliminary Q1 Organic Sales Growth

Hologic's (HOLX) Diagnostics division's preliminary numbers show a strong rebound in the base business. Hologic Inc. HOLX announced lackluster preliminary revenues for first-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended Dec 25, 2021) on Jan 9. The company estimates a year-over-year decline in total revenues. However ex-covid revenue growth was satisfactory, indicating a strong base business rebound. The preliminary total revenues exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as the company’s estimates. The stock rose 4.5% the following day to close at $73.45.The company is slated to release its full financial results for the period on Feb 2.Prelim Q1 at a GlancePer the preliminary announcement, total revenues for the fiscal first quarter are expected to be approximately $1,471.1 million, implying a projected 8.6% decline year over year (down 8.2% at constant exchange rate or CER). However, this preliminary figure exceeds the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.12 billion by a wide margin. The preliminary expectation also remains ahead of the company’s guidance range of $1,100 to $1,150 million, provided on Nov 1, 2021.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchHologic’s Diagnostics division’s preliminary numbers show a strong rebound in base business while meeting heavy demand for COVID testing. The Breast and Skeletal Health and Surgical businesses also showed strength, with each growing over 8% as per the prelim announcements. Overall, the company projects organic growth excluding COVID benefits to be 9.0% at CER in the fiscal first quarter compared with its 5% to 7% long-term growth target.Segmental DetailsOn a segmental basis, while Diagnostics revenues are likely to fall 15.2% at CER, Organic Diagnostics revenues, excluding COVID, are likely to rise 10% at CER.GYN Surgical (7.7%) is estimated to grow 8.2% at CER on a year-over-year basis. Breast Health (20.7%) revenues are likely to rise 8.4% at CER. Skeletal Health (1.5%) is anticipated to rise 9.7% at CER.Preliminary organic revenues, excluding COVID, are expected at $840.9 million, implying 9% year-over-year growth at CER.EPS ProjectionThe company expects fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) to be $1.15-$1.25, with a projected decline of 59.8-56.3% year over year. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.17.Q1 UpdateIn Diagnostics, in October, the company’s Aptima SARS-CoV-2/Flu Assay was made available for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of three respiratory viruses that can present overlapping clinical symptoms. The three viruses – SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and influenza B – typically cause similar symptoms including fever, cough, headache and fatigue. With the potential for seasonal flu in addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, physicians are expected to test patients presenting with these shared symptoms for all three viruses. This while opening up the scope for testing is likely to have contributed significantly to the quarter’s diagnostic testing revenues.Share Price MovementHologic has outperformed its industry over the past six months. The stock has gained 5.3% against a 2.5% decline of its industry.Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to ConsiderCurrently, Hologic carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).A few other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that investors can consider are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN, Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. APEN and Patterson Companies, Inc. PDCO.AMN Healthcare, carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 16.2%. The company’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 19.5%, on average.AMN Healthcare has outperformed its industry over the past year. AMN has gained 48.3% against the 57.3% industry decline.Apollo Endosurgery, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7%. The company‘s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 25.6%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Apollo Endosurgery has outperformed its industry in the past year. APEN has gained 103.3% versus the industry’s 1% fall.Patterson Companies, sporting a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.9%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one, delivering an average surprise of 3.7%.Patterson Companies has underperformed its industry over the past year. PDCO has declined 11.1% versus the industry’s 4.9% rise. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Hologic, Inc. (HOLX): Free Stock Analysis Report Patterson Companies, Inc. (PDCO): Free Stock Analysis Report AMN Healthcare Services Inc (AMN): Free Stock Analysis Report Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. (APEN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 13th, 2022

Nu Skin"s (NUS) Transformational Strategies Keep It Well-Placed

Nu Skin (NUS) gains on its solid customer base and network of sales leaders. The company's three transformational strategies also bode well amid pandemic-led disruptions. Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. NUS has been benefiting from its solid network of sales leaders and customers. The company has been strengthening its network through product launches and engaging technology platforms among other initiatives. The company is also gaining from its focus on making digital investments, given consumers’ rising preference for online shopping. Nu Skin is on track to become a disruptive beauty and wellness leader via three key transformational strategies.  However, the disruptions caused by the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant dented the company’s third-quarter 2021 results, which also prompted management to curtail its guidance for the full year. During the third quarter, both earnings and sales fell year over year. However, the company’s solid growth endeavors place it well for the long term.Let’s take a closer look.Factors Adding Sheen to Nu SkinNu Skin has been conducting several promotional seminars online. Also, NUS rolled out its Velocity sales compensation plan and the enJoy rewards program over the past three years. During the third quarter of 2021, the company benefited from double-digit growth in Korea, driven by product promotions and sales leaders’ initiatives. A shift to work-from-home and at-home personal care trends has led to increased online shopping, which presents a unique opportunity to the company’s business. With these macro trends, Nu Skin is making significant investments in the digital platform for building a socially enabled business.Speaking of the company’s three key transformational strategies, it is developing innovative products and leveraging its key position in beauty device systems. It is planning to launch next-generation connected devices in 2022. Further, management is transforming its business with the help of a robust social commerce and distinctive person-to-person affiliate marketing channel for creating more brand awareness and acquiring customers at a higher rate. The company’s focus on building a robust digital ecosystem for enhancing customer attraction bodes well. The digital platform accounts for more than 90% of the company’s revenues.Nu Skin is leveraging its technology to scale up business, grow customers in new segments and expand its affiliate business to younger demographics. Recently, Nu Skin announced the buyout of 3i Solutions, an innovative company that develops and produces ingredients for consumer markets with the help of proprietary encapsulation technologies. Such technologies will help Nu Skin to create new product forms and increase the performance of its formulations in beauty and wellness.Apart from this, the company’s long-term strategies stand on three key pillars: Products, Programs and Platforms. The launch of NUS’ revolutionary ageLOC LumiSpa along with the re-launch of Galvanic Spa device has been a success. Management is optimistic about its upcoming product roll-outs. In the third quarter, the company’s top line partly benefited from continued growth in the United States due to the launch of Beauty Focus Collagen+. In the fourth quarter, the company will focus on expanding ageLOC META and Collagen+ across markets. Apart from product launches, Nu Skin’s well-knit product strategies and customer retention programs have been driving growth in several market locations.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchPandemic Hurts Q3 ResultsDuring the third quarter of 2021, Nu Skin posted revenues of $641.2 million. The top line fell 9% year over year on a reported basis. On a constant-currency basis, revenues declined 11%. Management highlighted that revenues were lower than anticipated due to the disruptions caused by the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant. This led to unexpected government restrictions, hindering selling as well as promotional activities across various markets, especially in Mainland China and Southeast Asia. Nu Skin reported quarterly earnings of 97 cents a share, which declined 10% from $1.08 reported in the year-ago quarter.Based on the dismal third-quarter performance, management lowered its 2021 guidance. However, the guidance suggests growth from the year-ago reported figures. The company now anticipates 2021 revenues in the range of $2.67-$2.70 billion, which were previously expected in the range of $2.81-$2.87 billion. The revised top line marks an increase of 3-5% year over year. Management now expects 2021 earnings per share (EPS) in the range of $3.93-$4.03, indicating an increase of 8-11%. The company had projected earnings in the band of $4.30-$4.50 per share before.Nu Skin’s abovementioned strong upsides are likely to keep it well-placed for 2022. Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have rallied 24.1% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 14.2%.3 Consumer Staple PicksSome better-ranked stocks from the Consumer Staples sector are MGP Ingredients MGPI, United Natural Foods, Inc. UNFI and The Hain Celestial Group HAIN.MGP Ingredients, the producer and supplier of distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starch food ingredients, currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares of the company have rallied 30.9% in the past three months. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MGP Ingredients’ current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 55.5% and 61.4%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s figures. MGPI has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 117.6%, on average.United Natural Foods distributes natural, organic, specialty, produce, and conventional grocery and non-food products. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). United Natural Foods has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 35.4%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for UNFI’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 4.8% and 7.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s figures. Shares of United Natural Foods have risen 2.3% in  the past three months.The Hain Celestial, which provides various natural and organic foods as well as personal care products in North America and Europe, carries a Zacks Rank #2 at present. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.7%, on average. Shares of The Hain Celestial have moved up nearly 1% in the past three months.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HAlN’s current financial-year EPS suggests growth of 14.5% from the year-ago period’s reported number. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN): Free Stock Analysis Report United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI): Free Stock Analysis Report Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NUS): Free Stock Analysis Report MGP Ingredients, Inc. (MGPI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

3 Reasons to Add McKesson (MCK) Stock to Your Portfolio

Investors continue to be optimistic about McKesson (MCK) owing to its robust Biologics business. McKesson Corporation MCK has been gaining on the back of its robust Biologics business. A solid second-quarter fiscal 2022 performance, along with its strategic deals, is expected to contribute further. However, stiff competition and weaker generic pharmaceutical pricing trends persist.Over the past year, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has gained 43.1% compared with 16.9% growth of the industry and 28.6% rise of the S&P 500 composite.The renowned health care services and information technology company has a market capitalization of $38 billion. McKesson projects 9% growth for the next five years, in which it expects to maintain its strong performance. The company’s earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, the average earnings surprise being 19.90%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLet’s delve deeper.Strength in Biologics: Investors are optimistic about McKesson’s robust Biologics business. Independent specialty pharmacy, Biologics by McKesson, has been making impressive progress of late. This month, the pharmacy was selected by PharmaEssentia USA Corporation as a specialty pharmacy provider of BESREMi (ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft) for the treatment of adults with polycythemia vera.The same month, Biologics by McKesson was selected by Takeda Pharmaceuticals as a specialty pharmacy provider of LIVTENCITYTM (maribavir), indicated for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients (above the age of 12 and weighing at least 35 kg) with post-transplant cytomegalovirus infection or disease that is refractory to treatment (with or without genotypic resistance) with ganciclovir, valganciclovir, cidofovir or foscarnet.Strategic Deals: McKesson has inked some strategic deals over the past few months, raising investors’ optimism on the stock. The company, in November, inked an agreement to sell off its U.K. businesses to the pan-European asset management group AURELIUS. The agreement is an important step in advancing McKesson’s efforts to streamline its business and fully exit the European region.In August, McKesson’s oncology and insights business, Ontada, announced a strategic agreement with Merck, which is expected to facilitate the development of real-world research excellence and innovation.Strong Q2 Results: McKesson’s robust second-quarter fiscal 2022 results buoy optimism. The company recorded strong segmental performances by three of its four segments. A raised earnings outlook for fiscal 2022 instills confidence in the stock. Double-digit adjusted operating profit growth across all segments is encouraging. The company’s crucial role in the COVID-19 response efforts in the United States and abroad have been through the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, ancillary supply kits and COVID-19 tests is impressive.DownsidesWeak Trends: McKesson distributes generic pharmaceuticals, which are subject to price fluctuation. The Distribution Solutions segment had experienced weaker generic pharmaceutical pricing trends, which continue to persist. Continued volatility, unfavorable pricing trends, reimbursement of generic drugs, significant fluctuations in the nature, frequency and magnitude of generic pharmaceutical launches could have a material adverse impact on McKesson.Stiff Competition: Distribution Solutions faces stiff competition both in terms of price and service from various full-line, short-line and specialty wholesalers, service merchandisers, self-warehousing chains, manufacturers engaged in direct distribution, third-party logistics companies and large-payer organizations. Moreover, the company depends on fewer suppliers for its products. As a result, it is not in a position to negotiate pricing.Estimate TrendMcKesson is witnessing a positive estimate revision trend for fiscal 2022. In the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its earnings has moved 12.4% north to $22.64.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s third-quarter fiscal 2022 revenues is pegged at $65.97 billion, suggesting a 5.4% rise from the year-ago quarter’s reported number.Other Key PicksA few other top-ranked stocks investors can consider in the broader medical space are Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings LH or LabCorp, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO and AMN Healthcare Services AMN.LabCorp, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 10.6%. LH’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 25.73%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.LabCorp has gained 53.9% compared with the industry’s 16.9% rise over the past year.Thermo Fisher has an estimated long-term growth rate of 14%.TMO’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 9.02%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.Thermo Fisher has gained 42.9% compared with the industry’s 11.9% rise over the past year.AMN Healthcare has an estimated long-term growth rate of 16.2%. AMN’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 19.51%. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.AMN Healthcare has gained 78.5% against the industry’s 49.9% fall over the past year. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH): Free Stock Analysis Report Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report McKesson Corporation (MCK): Free Stock Analysis Report AMN Healthcare Services Inc (AMN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

Here"s Why You Should Retain UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Now

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) is well-poised for growth on the back of solid top-line growth, expansion of service offerings through UnitedHealthcare and Optum units, and adequate cash flows. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH continues to benefit from sustained top-line growth, robust Medicare and Medicaid business in place, an upbeat financial view for 2021 and 2022, and a solid financial position.Zacks Rank & Price PerformanceUnitedHealth Group carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The stock has gained 43.8% over a year compared with the industry’s rally of 40.1%. However, the Zacks Medical sector has lost 7.2% in the said time frame. The S&P 500 composite has risen 28.6% in the same time frame.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStyle ScoreUNH is well-poised for progress as evident from its impressive VGM Score of B. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum, with the score being a weighted combination of all three factors.Impressive Earnings Surprise HistoryUNH boasts an impressive earnings surprise record. It has surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 8.66%.Positive Estimate RevisionThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 0.7% in the past 60 days.Solid Return on EquityThe ROE of UnitedHealth Group for the trailing 12 months is 23.1%, which remains higher than the industry average of 20.2%. This reflects UNH’s efficiency in utilizing its shareholders’ funds.Solid Financial Outlook for 2021 and 2022UnitedHealth Group recently issued an upbeat business outlook for 2021 and 2022, which reinstates ample growth prospects for the healthcare provider.For 2021, UNH anticipates revenues to be roughly $287 billion, which suggests growth of 11.6% from the 2020 reported figure. The metric is expected to increase and lie within the $317-$320 billion in 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 revenues indicates an increase of 10.9% year over year.Regarding the bottom line (adjusted net earnings per share), UnitedHealth Group projects the metric between $18.75 and $18.90 in 2021. The mid-point of the revised guidance indicates an 11.5% rise from the 2020 reported figure. The bottom line is likely to grow and remain within $21.10-$21.60. The consensus mark for UNH’s 2022 earnings indicates an improvement of 15.3% on a year-over-year basis.Business TailwindsStrong contributions from its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses continue to drive UnitedHealth Group’s revenues. Both the units strive to offer patient-focused healthcare services at affordable costs across several U.S. communities and pursue the strategy of teaming up with well-established care systems to provide the same.UNH has solid Medicare and Medicaid businesses in place through which it has been devising cost-effective health plans and extending reach across inaccessible regions. A well-diversified healthcare suite and solid nationwide presence have led to several contract wins and deal renewals for UnitedHealth Group. In 2021, some of the states that have chosen UnitedHealth Group for serving members include Ohio, Hawaii and Oklahoma. Such deals continue to bolster the company’s customer base.An aging U.S. population favors Medicare Advantage plans, which is likely to continue driving the solid demand for UNH’s Medicare plans. In 2022, UnitedHealth Group aims to widen its service area and reach 94% of Medicare consumers spread across the United States. This endeavor will sustain UNH’s record of holding the industry’s largest Medicare Advantage presence.The Global business of UnitedHealth Group that earlier grappled with the unanticipated deferral of care due to the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be recovering. Following a dismal period in 2020, membership of the business bounced back with a rise from the second quarter of 2021.A strong cash position enables UNH to effectively serve short-term debt obligations. Additionally, robust cash-generating abilities allow UnitedHealth Group to pursue significant business investments and tactical capital-deployment moves via share buybacks and dividend payments. Its dividend yield of 1.2% remains higher than the industry’s figure of 1%.Stocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks in the medical space include Axcella Health Inc. AXLA, Cerner Corporation CERN and Molina Healthcare, Inc. MOH, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present.Axcella Health has a trailing four-quarter surprise of 0.64%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AXLA’s 2022 earnings suggests 3.3% year-over-year growth. The consensus mark has also moved north by 1.2% in the past 30 days. Axcella Health has a Momentum Score of A.The bottom line of Cerner outpaced estimates in each of the trailing three quarters and met once, the average surprise being 3.21%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CERN’s 2022 earnings suggests 11.6% improvement year over year, while the same for revenues implies growth of 4.8%. Cerner has a VGM Score of A.Molina Healthcare has a trailing four-quarter surprise of 4.00%, on average. The consensus estimate for MOH’s 2022 earnings indicates an improvement of 27.3% from the prior year reported figure, while the same for revenues suggests a 12% rise from the year-ago reported figure. The expected long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 21.1%, better than the industry’s average of 15%.  Molina Healthcare boasts of a VGM Score of B.While Axcella Health stock has lost 60.3% in a year, shares of Cerner and Molina Healthcare have gained 18.7% and 50.8%, respectively, in the same time frame. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Cerner Corporation (CERN): Free Stock Analysis Report Molina Healthcare, Inc (MOH): Free Stock Analysis Report Axcella Health Inc. (AXLA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

Centene (CNC) Receives DMHC Approval for Magellan Acquisition

Centene's (CNC) acquisition with Magellan Health is likely to close on Jan 4, 2022, around a year after the deal announcement. Centene Corporation’s CNC acquisition deal with Magellan Health, Inc. MGLN recently received a green signal from the medical watchdogs in California. The California Department of Managed Health Care (“DMHC”) approved the deal with some conditions.Magellan Health, being the parent body for two licensed health plans by DMHC, namely Human Affairs International of California (HAI-CA) and Magellan Health Services of California, Inc. - Employer Services (MHSC), required regulatory approval for vending the health plans. The conditions from DMHC are aimed at protecting consumers and keeping the state’s healthcare delivery system stable. The regulatory authority expects them to control healthcare costs.Following the closing of the $2.2-billion deal, Magellan Health’s HAI-CA contracts will continue without changing the rates for a minimum of two years. Centene’s acquisition of Magellan Health will not result in the addition of acquisition expenses to the premiums. Also, any increase in the premium rate is expected to be at a minimum level, keeping healthcare costs affordable.A third-party monitoring authority will help Centene and Magellan Health to keep their plans separate and ensure compliance with the laid-out conditions. The plans are expected to provide $10 million to integrate behavioral health into primary care practices in the health care delivery system of the state.Centene’s mergers and acquisitions strategy is mainly targeted at expanding the company’s markets and increasing its Medicaid membership. The Magellan Health deal is expected to close on Jan 4, 2022, around a year after the buyout announcement. The combination of both the companies is expected to allow the merger of behavioral health, specialty healthcare and pharmacy management, which is likely to create better healthcare services. It will allow Centene to establish one of the nation’s biggest behavioral health platforms across 41 million members with better care facilities.CNC recently provided an upbeat 2022 outlook incorporating the Magellan Health acquisition. Centene expects total revenues for 2022 in the range of $135.9-$137.9 billion, including $4.4 billion from the acquisition. Adjusted earnings per share are expected within $5.30-$5.50 for 2022. The bottom line is expected to be supported by lower expenses and gross margin improvement. The adjusted SG&A expense ratio for 2021 is expected within 8.2-8.6% and decline to 7.8-8.3% in 2022.As the overall economy is recovering fast and the unemployment rate is falling, the number of coverages being bought by employers for their workers is rising and is expected to keep doing so. Apart from CNC, other companies including UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH and Anthem, Inc. ANTM have also provided upbeat guidance.UnitedHealth expects 2021 adjusted earnings per share to be $18.75-$18.90, indicating an increase from the 2020 level of $16.88. The figure is likely to further rise to $21.10-$21.60 per share in 2022. The overall increase in the bottom line will likely be supported by lower operating costs. UnitedHealth expects the operating cost ratio to be 14.8% in 2021, suggesting a decline from the last year’s 16.2%. The metric might marginally decrease to 14.5% in 2022. UNH is focused on increasing the value for shareholders, backed by rising cash flows. Operating cash flows for 2021 are expected to be $23 billion, implying a marginal increase from the 2020 level of $22.2 billion. For 2022, UnitedHealth expects operating cash flows within $23-$24 billion.Anthem’s top-line improvement remains impressive, with a four-year CAGR of 9% (2015-2020). We expect the favorable top-line trend to continue, given its strong business growth, membership hike and significant new contracts in the government business. ANTM expects adjusted net income for the current year to be more than $25.85 per share, higher than the previous estimate of $25.50. It has witnessed three upward estimate revisions in the past 60 days and one downward movement. Anthem beat earnings estimates thrice in the last four quarters and missed once, with the average surprise being 4.7%.Price Performance and Zacks RankCentene’s shares have increased 39.9% in the past year compared with the industry’s 40.1% rise.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe company currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Magellan Health, Inc. (MGLN): Free Stock Analysis Report Centene Corporation (CNC): Free Stock Analysis Report Anthem, Inc. (ANTM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

Forget Zimmer Biomet (ZBH), Buy These 3 Medical Devices Stocks

With orthopedic stocks like Zimmer Biomet (ZBH) are grappling with several issues, it is wise to invest in medical device stocks like TMO, NEOG and CERN instead for 2022. Shares of Zimmer Biomet ZBH have registered an extremely tepid performance so far in 2021, in line with the broader orthopedic industry’s declining volume trend. Through the first half of the year, the situation seemed to improve for Zimmer Biomet on the gradual opening of the economy following the lifting of strict social-distancing norms and increased hospital visits. There was a rush toward earlier-deferred non-COVID elective orthopedic treatments after the widespread vaccination drives.However, this improving scenario did not last long. In the second half of the year, with increasing cases of infections due to the emergence of new virus variants, patients once again started deferring their elective orthopedic surgeries in fear of getting infected by the latest potentially vaccine-resistant strains on hospital visits. Hospitals too were seen to increasingly attend to COVID-19 patients, thereby pushing orthopedic patient admissions to the back. This has significantly hampered 2021 second-half sales of Zimmer Biomet, leading to a bearish run on the bourse for the stock.Year to date, Zimmer Biomet has plunged 17.5% against the S&P 500 index’s growth of 26.9%. Earnings estimates for 2021 and 2022 have decreased by 5.3% and 6.5%, respectively, over the past three months .Given the fact that a meaningful portion of the orthopedic space comprises nonessential, deferrable surgeries, the adverse business impacts are likely to stay in the coming months as well. In such a scenario, we ask investors to avoid orthopedic stocks like Zimmer Biomet, which carries a Zacks Rank of #4 (Sell).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.In contrast, there are a number of medical device players with nonelective, essential and/or COVID-support procedures and treatments, which have confirmed a gradual rebound in their base businesses. We ask investors to capitalize on the sustained uptrend of these medical device stocks like Thermo Fisher Scientific TMO, Neogen NEOG and Cerner CERN that have either well-adapted to the changing consumer preference or have capitalized on growth in COVID-19-based businesses.YTD Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBefore discussing these stocks, let’s delve deeper on the prime factors that are weighing on ZBH stock at present:What’s Weighing on Zimmer Biomet?Zimmer Biomet registered soft sales volume particularly in the America in the last reported quarter. In terms of operating segments, the company’s core divisions like Knees, Hips, and Dental & Spine registered significant year-over-year declines in revenues at CER. In the quarter, Zimmer Biomet continued to face COVID-induced challenges and market pressure. According to the company, the third quarter was full of unexpected negative environmental impacts that were mostly out of control.The quarter brought greater COVID pressure than expected for Zimmer Biomet. The company recognized customer staffing shortages severe than expected and an unanticipated impact of China VBP both of which resulted in lower-than-projected Q3 revenues. According to Zimmer Biomet, the business recovery continued in August but then declined in September as the company saw Delta variant cases and increase in staffing shortage.On the third-quarter earnings call, the company stated that it expects these issues to continue into Q4 as well. In view of a lackluster Q4 projection, Zimmer Biomet also had to slash its 2021 financial guidance. The company even expects these negative trends to persist in early 2022 as well.Why Invest in Medical Device Stocks Now?Despite the ongoing problem of supply disruption and staffing shortage in the face of the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which has been identified by WHO, as a variant of concern, a number of medical device companies are experiencing substantial recovery because of their nature of business. Amid the pandemic concerns, there has been rising utilization of minimally-invasive robot-assisted surgeries, self-automated home-based care, use of IT for quick and improved patient care, and shift of the payment system to a value-based model, underscoring the growing influence of AI in the Medical Products space.This apart, amid the rising number of COVID cases, demand for molecular diagnostic and rapid testing, as well as other COVID-19 support products, has surged. The need of the hour is testing, which has led to a shift in the pipeline of IVD products, with a large number of rapid, point-of-care devices going into development. We currently anticipate significant demand for rapid diagnostic testing through 2022 as well.3 Medical Device Stocks Set to Earn Big in 2022Thermo Fisher Scientific: The company has been delivering stable business performance, leveraging on a significant rebound in its base business. Thermo Fisher’s Life Sciences Solutions, Analytical Instruments, Specialty Diagnostics, and Laboratory Products and Services all have registered strong growth in the recent quarters. In the last-reported third quarter, Thermo Fisher generated $2.05 billion in COVID-19 response-related revenues. With the surge in the Delta and Omicron variants, the company projects strong testing demand globally in the fourth quarter. Thermo Fisher is also playing a meaningful role in vaccines and therapies for COVID-19, generating just over $500 million in the last-reported quarter in this space. Year-to-date, the stock has improved 39.7%.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company’s 2022 sales is pegged at $39.83 billion, indicating a 7.3% rise from 2021. Thermo Fisher’s long-term expected earnings growth rate is pegged at 14%.Neogen: Neogen exited the first quarter of fiscal 2022 on a bullish note with better-than-expected revenues and earnings. Top-line growth was led by strength in the company’s Food Safety and Animal Safety business segments. The newly launched AccuPoint Advanced NG contributed to growth in environmental sanitation. The ThyroKare supplement drove revenues in animal care products. The StandGuard product line also contributed to growth. Integration of the Megazyme product offerings into Neogen’s product portfolio looks encouraging. Neogen’s solid domestic and international performance across all businesses buoys optimism as well. Expansion of gross margin is an added advantage. Neogen carries a Zacks Rank #2. Year to date, the stock has improved 12%.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Neogen’s fiscal 2022 (ending May 2022) sales is pegged at $527.9 million, indicating a 12.7% rise. The same for earnings of 66 cents suggests growth of 15.8%.  Neogen’s long-term historical earnings growth rate is pegged at 8.6%.Cerner: This healthcare information technology (HCIT) solutions provider registered solid gains in four of the company’s business in the last-reported quarter. Bookings witnessed growth (23%) in the quarter under review. Apart from this, Cerner repurchased shares worth $375 million in the quarter under review. Per management, the solid performance reflected the company’s robust progress in its transformation initiatives, cost control measures and a strong market presence. On the basis of this progress, Cerner increased its earnings outlook for 2021 yet again. Besides, Cerner continued to make substantial progress in its work with the Federal government, which includes expansion of interoperability capabilities that are important for the success of the Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) programs. This Zacks Rank #2 stock has risen 17.1% year to date.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Cerner’s 2022 sales is pegged at $6.08 billion, indicating a 4.8% rise. The same for earnings of $3.68 suggests growth of 11.6%.  Cerner’s long-term expected earnings growth rate is pegged at 13.3%. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First to New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Cerner Corporation (CERN): Free Stock Analysis Report Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report Neogen Corporation (NEOG): Free Stock Analysis Report Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (ZBH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 27th, 2021

4 Marijuana Stocks to Watch as Legalization Efforts Intensify

Legalization at state level is ramping up and once federal legalization is achieved marijuana stocks like Tilray, Inc. (TLRY), Sundial Growers (SNDL), Block Inc. (SQ) and Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIPR) are poised to perform well. Marijuana stocks started the year on a high but have lately faced ups and downs. However, the euphoria hasn’t died out and even without federal legalization, pot stocks are doing well.Domestic pot stocks had particularly performed well in the first half of this year. However, Canadian companies that showed promise earlier on in 2021 are facing some roadblocks. Canadian pot producers are now betting on the U.S. market but making inroads would be a challenge as marijuana isn’t fully legalized in the country. Thus, domestic players like Tilray, Inc. TLRY,  Sundial Growers SNDL, Block Inc. SQ and Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. IIPR are likely to dominate the space in the coming days.Wait for LegalizationThe pandemic saw cannabis stocks flourishing, with the sector hitting a record $17.5 billion in sales last year. The positive trend continued and investors expected the sector to benefit after the 2020 Presidential election and eventual Democratic victories in Congress. This saw marijuana stocks peaking in February.However, the pace of federal legalization has somewhat slowed down. Marijuana investors had hoped that Biden would keep his campaign promise and his administration would push for marijuana legalization through Congress in 2021. That hasn’t happened and legalization can now become reality only in 2022.Efforts to Legalize Marijuana ContinueA little patience can prove beneficial for those who are hopeful about the sector’s future. Earlier this year, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) and the Medical Marijuana Act was passed by the Democrat-led House, hinting at legalization of marijuana in the coming days.The two acts have paved the way for banks and other financial institutions to provide services to marijuana companies in legalized states without penalty. Now the wait is for the decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level, while state level legalization continues to ramp up. States like Ohio have been pushing for legalizing marijuana and although slow, the process is on.While a few Democrats are strongly pushing for federal-level legalization in the near term, President Biden needs to take a call. According to a report in Marijuana.Moments.net, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has urged Biden to bypass Congressional inaction and decriminalize marijuana by a de facto law through his executive orders.“Biden needs to lean on his executive authority now. He has been delaying and underutilizing it so far. There is an enormous amount he can do on climate, student debt, immigration, cannabis, health care, and more,” Ocasi-Cortez tweeted on Dec 21.At present, with prohibition on, it means higher taxes, higher cost of capital alongside compliance costs. Legalization of marijuana would boost free flow of cash, leading to a higher valuation.The hope of marijuana getting legalized has also seen top companies buying other entities. Legalization at the federal level is only likely to supercharge growth for the sector in 2022. Also, longer regulatory timelines will allow marijuana stocks with strong fundamentals to cement their position in the industry.In fact, there are multiple catalysts in place that are likely to help marijuana stocks in 2022. According to BDSA, cannabis sales in the United States is projected to surpass $24 billion in 2021. This reflects 38% year-over-year growth. Moreover, it expects U.S. sales to reach $47.6 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 14%.Experts believe that the marijuana industry is likely to experience a domino effect soon with more states legalizing it. The states that have now made marijuana legal will create pressure on their neighbouring states to follow suit so that they can curb tax revenues. As more states legalize marijuana, the government will be under pressure to decriminalize pot at the federal level.4 Stocks to Watch in 2022Tilray, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company. TLRY develops cannabis-based medicines, drugs, drops and oil products. Tilray  provides medical and adult-use cannabis products; pharmaceutical and wellness products; beverage alcohol products; and hemp-based food and other wellness products. Currently, Tilray has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). TLRY’s expected earnings growth rate is 41.3% for the current year and 44.4% for next year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Sundial Growers operates as a pharmaceutical company. SNDL produces and grows cannabis strains. Sundial produces and distributes inhalable products, such as flower, pre-rolls, and vapes. The company offers its products under the Top Leaf, Sundial Cannabis, Palmetto, and Grasslands brands.Currently, SNDL has a  Zacks Rank #3. SNDL’s expected earnings growth rate is 69.3% for the current year and more than 100% for next year.Block Inc. provides payment and point-of-sale solutions in the United States and internationally. But Block introduced CBD early-access program that permits business houses in the United States to sell CBD products.Zacks Rank #3 SQ has an expected earnings growth rate of 94.1% for the current year and 8.6% for next year.Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc.  is a real estate investment trust. IIPR is focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of specialized industrial properties leased to experienced, state-licensed operators for medical-use cannabis facilities. In this process, Innovative Industrial Properties is reaping rental income.Currently, IIPR has a Zacks Rank #3. Innovative Industrial Properties’ expected earnings growth rate for the current and next year is 35% and 36.1%, respectively. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 0.6% over the past 90 days. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First to New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Block Inc. (SQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIPR): Free Stock Analysis Report Tilray, Inc. (TLRY): Free Stock Analysis Report Sundial Growers Inc. (SNDL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2021

3 Utilities to Add to Your Portfolio for Strong 2022 Performance

Electric power utilities like CNP, LNT and IDA are poised to benefit from the increasing demand for utility services. The utilities have well-chalked out capital investment plans to upgrade infrastructure and add clean assets to their generation portfolio. The pandemic caused immense economic distress globally in 2020. Courtesy of an increase in the fully vaccinated population and enhanced medical knowledge, the spread of coronavirus is now restricted. This development has helped in the reopening of economic activities and boosted business conditions globally. The Zacks Utility – Electric Power industry prospects look better for 2022, as the demand for utility services from the Commercial and Industrial group is picking up.The reopening of economic activities is generating new opportunities and the unemployment rate in the United States continues to drop, thereby creating fresh demand for electricity from different customer groups. The unemployment rate at November-end was 4.2%, reflecting a 40-basis point improvement from 4.6% registered in October 2021. Per Trading Economics, this is the lowest jobless rate since February 2020, as the number of unemployed persons fell by 542,000 to 6.9 million.The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States improved 2.1% for third-quarter 2021, following a 6.7% increase in the second quarter. The improvement in GDP also creates a higher need for energy, thereby boosting the demand for electricity. The outbreak of a new variant of coronavirus might delay the pace of reopening of economic activities but will not result in lockdown as experienced in 2020.The U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) forecasts that after declining 4% in 2020, retail sales for electricity would increase 3.6% in 2021 and further improve 0.2% in 2022. The EIA also forecasts retail sales of electricity in the commercial and industrial sectors to increase 3.4% and 6.7%, respectively, in 2021. For 2022, EIA forecasts total electricity consumption from the commercial and industrial sectors to grow 0.9% and 2.4%, respectively.The Zacks Utilities sector registered earnings growth in the first three quarters of 2021. For the third quarter, earnings growth was 11% on the back of a 12.1% improvement in revenues. Our weekly Earnings Trends report indicates 4.8% growth in earnings in 2021, backed by 12% growth in revenues. This positive trend is expected to continue in 2022, with an overall earnings growth of 6%, backed by 1.7% growth in revenues.Let’s focus on three utilities currently having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that can boost your portfolio going into 2022. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.CenterPoint Energy Inc. CNP, Alliant Energy Corporation LNT, and IDACORP Inc. IDA delivered an average earnings surprise of 24.5%, 4.4%, and 5.2%, respectively, in the last four quarters. The current dividend yield of CNP, LNT, and IDA is 2.52%, 2.83%, and 2.81%, respectively. Return on equity of CNP, LNT, and IDA stands at 15.38%, 11.01%, and 9.6%, better than the industry average of 9.2%. All these stocks have outperformed the industry in the past month.Price Performance Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCenterPoint Energy Inc.: Houston, TX-based CenterPoint Energy is a domestic energy delivery company that provides electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, and competitive natural gas sales and service operations. CenterPoint Energy is going to invest $18 billion in the 2021-2025 time period and $40 billion in the next few years to strengthen operations and provide high-quality services to customers. CenterPoint Energy has a goal of reaching net zero for both Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2035.The long-term (three to five years) earnings growth rate of CNP is 4.64%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 and 2022 earnings has moved up 0.7% and 1.5%, respectively, in the past 60 days.Alliant Energy Corporation: Madison, WI-based, Alliant Energy is a holding company with subsidiaries engaged in regulated electric and natural gas services. Alliant Energy has plans to strengthen electric and natural gas distribution systems and invest $5.8 billion between 2022 and 2025. LNT announced the voluntary goal of retiring all the existing coal-fired generation units by 2040, with an objective of lowering emissions from 2005 levels by 50% and 100% within 2030 and 2050, respectively.The long-term earnings growth rate of LNT is projected at 6.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings has moved up 1.9% in the past 60 days and that of 2022 has remained unchanged in the same time frame.IDACORP Inc: Boise, ID-based IDACORP is a regulated utility engaged in the transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity services in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon through its primary subsidiary Idaho Power Company. IDACORP projects capital expenditure of $2 billion for the 2021-2025 time period. Owing to systematic investments in strengthening the clean generation portfolio, IDA expects to provide 100% clean energy to customers by 2045.The long-term earnings growth of IDACORP is pegged at 4.44%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 and 2022 earnings has moved up 0.4% and 1.01%, respectively, in the past 60 days. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (CNP): Free Stock Analysis Report IDACORP, Inc. (IDA): Free Stock Analysis Report Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 7th, 2021

Here"s Why You Should Retain Abiomed (ABMD) Stock for Now

Investors continue to be optimistic about Abiomed (ABMD) due to its Impella product line strength. Abiomed, Inc. ABMD is well poised for growth in the coming quarters, backed by strength in its Impella product line. A robust second-quarter fiscal 2022 performance, along with the company’s solid global foothold, is expected to contribute further. Stiff competition and third-party reimbursement concerns persist.Over the past year, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has gained 10.6% compared with 3.9% growth of the industry and 23.4% rise of the S&P 500.The renowned global provider of medical products designed to assist or replace the pumping function of the failing heart has a market capitalization of $13.68 billion. The company projects 20% growth for the next five years and expects to maintain its strong performance. It has delivered an earnings surprise of 5.84% for the past four quarters, on average.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLet’s delve deeper.Strength in Impella: Abiomed’s flagship product line, Impella, has continued to be a growth driver, which raises our optimism. Abiomed expanded its Breethe OXY-1 System to a total of seven U.S. sites and has treated 53 patients, thus concluding Phase II of its pilot site product launch.Further, the Impella Connect software has come live at more than 85% of the company’s U.S. sites, allowing for most U.S. patients on support to be monitored in the cloud by the field. Management also confirmed during the fiscal 2022 second-quarter earnings that the Impella 5.0 has been placed in 666 sites, the Impella RP is in 634 sites and the Impella 5.5 with SmartAssist is now available in 306 sites.Solid Global Foothold: The Impella support has already been integrated into hospitals throughout Germany and Japan. It has been used to treat patients in Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Israel, and most recently, in India. European revenues surged year over year on the back of higher patient utilization, sales mix and timing of orders. Revenues from the Japan business were up year over year on the back of a surge in patient utilization. Also, the company’s Impella Connect software is currently live at 14% of the European sites.Strong Q2 Results: Abiomed’s solid second-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings buoy optimism. The company saw strength in its global Impella revenues, which is impressive. Abiomed’s receipt of FDA clearances for its Impella products looks encouraging. Abiomed’s June buyout of the remaining interest of preCARDIA also raises our optimism on the stock. Expansion of gross margin bodes well for the stock.DownsidesForex Woes: Abiomed depends on third-party reimbursement to its customers for market acceptance of its products. Sales of medical devices largely depend on the reimbursement of patients’ medical expenses by government healthcare programs and private health insurers. Without government reimbursement or third-party insurers’ payments for patient care, the market for Abiomed’s products will be limited.Stiff Competition: Abiomed faces competition from other companies offering circulatory care products. The market where it operates is intense and subject to rapid technological change, and evolving industry requirements and standards. Abiomed competes with companies that have greater financial, product development, sales and marketing resources, and experience. The company’s ability to compete effectively depends on distinguishing itself and its products from its competitors and their products.Estimate TrendAbiomed is witnessing a negative estimate revision trend for 2022. In the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its earnings has moved 3.2% south to $4.23.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s third-quarter fiscal 2022 revenues is pegged at $251.1 million, suggesting an 8.4% improvement from the year-ago quarter’s reported number.Key PicksSome better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Chemed Corporation CHE, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO and AMN Healthcare Services AMN.Chemed, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $5.06, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.5%. Revenues of $538.7 million outpaced the consensus mark by 1.3%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Chemed has an estimated long-term growth rate of 7.7%. The company surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 5.59%.Thermo Fisher reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $5.76, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 23.3%. Third-quarter revenues of $9.33 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.Thermo Fisher has an estimated long-term growth rate of 14%. The company surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 9.02%.AMN Healthcare reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $1.73, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 29.1%. Third-quarter revenues of $877.8 million outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12.3%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.AMN Healthcare has an estimated long-term growth rate of 16.2%. The company surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 19.51%. Investor Alert: Legal Marijuana Looking for big gains? Now is the time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $13.5 billion in 2021 to an expected $70.6 billion by 2028. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could kick start an even greater bonanza for investors. Zacks Investment Research has recently closed pot stocks that have shot up as high as +147.0%. You’re invited to immediately check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report ABIOMED, Inc. (ABMD): Free Stock Analysis Report AMN Healthcare Services Inc (AMN): Free Stock Analysis Report Chemed Corporation (CHE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 6th, 2021

Humana (HUM) Ties Up to Enhance Medicare Advantage Business

Humana (HUM) forges an alliance with the Loudoun Medical Group to boost its Medicare Advantage portfolio. Humana Inc. HUM recently inked a deal with leading multi-specialty group practices Loudoun Medical Group, P.C. or LMG, with which Humana Medicare Advantage members will be able to access LMG’s medical and surgical locations. LMG is one of the leading physician-owned, multi-specialty group practices in Virginia.Individuals with Medicare will have access to LMG from Jan 1, 2022 if they select a Humana Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP).Rationale Behind the DealWith this deal, the existing Humana Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS members will be able to access LMG’s providers who offer healthcare services at 150 medical and surgical specialties locations.The MA market seems attractive for Humana considering the surge in enrollment figures and a growing U.S. aging population.Efforts to Enhance Medicare BusinessLast month, HUM extended the value-based agreement with Kansas-based physician specialty group Hutchinson Clinic for benefiting the Humana Medicare Advantage members. The health insurance provider also extended a value-based deal with Minnesota-based Allina Health to offer enhanced health outcomes to the Humana Medicare Advantage members across the state. HUM leaves no stone unturned to enhance this line of business.Its Medicare business has a wide presence across the United States where it has been offering a minimum of one Medicare plan across 50 states for a while. HUM has been providing private health plans under the Medicare program for more than 30 years. The COVID-19 outbreak coupled with an aging population in the United States further spurred demand for MA plans, which remains the preferred choice for consumers owing to several bundled benefits, improved care coordination and affordable nature.Humana continues to pursue collaborations with physicians and well-established health care professionals to deliver enhanced care to patients. These initiatives enabled HUM to bolster its nationwide footprint and delve into the underserved areas.The MA business of HUM continues to witness increased membership, which already fetched higher premiums. Multiple contract wins and renewals similar to the latest one are steadily driving the Medicare business.HUM’s Medicare products contribute significantly to consistent top-line growth and the nine months of 2021 were no exception to this trend. In the said time frame, Medicare products accounted for around 83% of the total premiums and services revenues reaped by the currently Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) player.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Similar to HUM, other medical stocks, such as Cigna Corporation CI, Centene Corporation CNC and UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH cater to the healthcare needs of people through their MA plans.Cigna’s MA business performed well, courtesy of its constant product expansions, growing membership and new collaborations or contract extensions with renowned healthcare systems. The same is also bolstering CI’s partner networks and strengthening its U.S. footprint. CI remains on track to achieve MA customer growth in the targeted range of 10-15% this year.Centene caters to more than 1.1 million MA members across 33 states. Several contract wins and renewals led to membership growth for the MA business. For 2022, with enhanced MA offerings, Centene has plans to foray into 327 new counties and three new states, namely Massachusetts, Nebraska and Oklahoma. This will bring the count of MA states to 36.UnitedHealth Group remains well-poised to benefit from a strong MA business. The business performed well on the back of numerous business wins and a robust membership rise in individual MA business amid the annual enrollment period. The 2021 Medicare enrollment season marked the largest MA footprint expansion of UNH in five years. UNH expects to add nearly 900,000 people to its Medicare plans in 2021.Shares of HUM have grown 3% in the past year, underperforming its industry’s growth of 23.3%. While the stocks of Centene and UnitedHealth Group have gained 9.9% and 27.9%, respectively, Cigna has lost 8.2% in a year's time. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Humana Inc. (HUM): Free Stock Analysis Report Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report Centene Corporation (CNC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 3rd, 2021

UnitedHealth (UNH) Ups Guidance: Here"s What You Should Know

UnitedHealth's (UNH) 2022 bottom line estimates are below the Zacks Consensus Estimate, may be due to an uptick in insurance claims triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH recently provided updated financial guidance for 2021. It also provided upbeat estimates for 2022 financial performance. Its bullish outlook for 2022 business is good for the health insurance industry in general.Top LineUnitedHealth expects 2021 revenues to be around $287 billion, indicating an increase from the 2020 figure of $257.1 billion. The metric is expected to rise to the $317-$320 billion range in 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for 2021 and 2022 revenues are pegged at $286.7 billion and $311.9 billion, respectively. This will be the first time the company is expected to cross the $300 billion revenues mark in a year. Its moves of combining the insurance unit with the provision of medical care business bode well.Bottom LineUNH expects its 2021 adjusted earnings per share to be $18.75-$18.90, marking an increase from the 2021 level of $16.88. The figure is likely to further rise to $21.10-$21.60 per share in 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for 2021 and 2022 earnings per share are pegged at $18.85 and $21.69, respectively. Hence, its 2022 bottom-line estimates are below the consensus mark. This can be due to an uptick in insurance claims triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.The overall increase in bottom line will likely be supported by lower operating costs. Operating cost ratio is expected to be around 14.8% in 2021, down from last year’s 16.2%. The metric might marginally decrease to 14.5% in 2022.Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization or EBITDA for 2021 is expected at around $27 billion, up from last year’s $25.3 billion. UnitedHealth expects the metric to further increase within $29.9-$30.7 billion.Shareholder ValueUnitedHealth is likely to keep boosting shareholder value through dividend payments and share repurchases. This year, it expects to pay $5.3 billion in dividends and buy back $5 billion worth of shares. Next year, dividend payments are likely to rise to around $5.5 billion. Share buybacks are likely to range within $5-$6 billion.This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is focused on increasing value for shareholders, backed by rising cash flows. Operating cash flows for 2021 is expected around $23 billion, marginally up from the 2020 level of $22.2 billion. For 2022, UnitedHealth expects operating cash flows within the range of $23-$24 billion.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Final ThoughtsHealth care service providers, including UnitedHealth, Molina Healthcare, Inc. MOH, Anthem, Inc. ANTM and Centene Corporation CNC have witnessed growth in business this year as the overall economy is recovering fast. With the falling unemployment rate, the number of coverages being bought by employers for their workers are rising and expected to keep doing so. As such, the bullish outlook bodes well for these companies.Molina Healthcare has been gaining from the restructuring and profitability improvement plan started back in 2017. The plan included streamlining of organizational structure to improve efficiency as well as the speed and quality of decision-making. Headquartered in Long Beach, CA, Molina Healthcare expects its full-year adjusted earnings guidance of not less than $13.25 per share. The company witnessed one upward estimate revision in the past 30 days against no movement in the opposite direction. In the past four reported quarters, MOH beat earnings estimates twice and missed on other two occasions, the average surprise being 4%.Anthem’s top-line improvement remains impressive, witnessing a four-year CAGR of 9% (2015-2020). We expect the favorable top-line trend to continue, given its strong business growth, membership hike and significant new contracts in its government business. ANTM expects adjusted net income for the current year to be more than $25.85 per share, higher than the previous estimate of above $25.50. It has witnessed two upward estimate revisions in the past one-month period and no downward movement. Anthem beat earnings estimates thrice in the past four quarters and missed once, the average surprise being 4.7%.Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Centene anticipates revenues to be $125.2-$126.4 billion, up from the previous projection of $123.3-$125.3 billion. For 2021, the company’s adjusted earnings are expected to be within $5.05-$5.15 per share, compared with the past guidance of $5.05-$5.35. Centene's leading position in the industry is largely supported by its prudent operating performance, strong inorganic growth and solid fundamentals. It has witnessed five upward estimate revisions in the past 60 days compared with three movements in the opposite direction.Price PerformancesUnitedHealth shares jumped 30.2% in the past year outperforming the industry’s 28% rise.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchDuring this time period, stocks of Molina Healthcare, Anthem and Centene increased 37.7%, 29.5% and 13.6%, respectively. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Molina Healthcare, Inc (MOH): Free Stock Analysis Report Centene Corporation (CNC): Free Stock Analysis Report Anthem, Inc. (ANTM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2021

Futures Surge After Powell-Driven Rout Proves To Be "Transitory"

Futures Surge After Powell-Driven Rout Proves To Be "Transitory" Heading into yesterday's painful close to one of the ugliest months since March 2020, which saw a huge forced liquidation rebalance with more than $8 billion in Market on Close orders, we said that while we are seeing "forced selling dump into the close today" this would be followed by "forced Dec 1 buying frontrunning after the close." Forced selling dump into the close today. Forced Dec 1 buying frontrunning after the close — zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 30, 2021 And just as expected, despite yesterday's dramatic hawkish pivot by Powell, who said it was time to retire the word transitory in describing the inflation outlook (the same word the Fed used hundreds of times earlier in 2021 sparking relentless mockery from this website for being clueless as usual) while also saying the U.S. central bank would consider bringing forward plans for tapering its bond buying program at its next meeting in two weeks, the frontrunning of new monthly inflows is in full force with S&P futures rising over 1.2%, Nasdaq futures up 1.3%, and Dow futures up 0.9%, recovering almost all of Tuesday’s decline. The seemingly 'hawkish' comments served as a double whammy for markets, which were already nervous about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant and its potential to hinder a global economic recovery. "At this point, COVID does not appear to be the biggest long-term Street fear, although it could have the largest impact if the new (or next) variant turns out to be worse than expected," Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P and Dow Jones indices, said in a note. "That honor goes to inflation, which continues to be fed by supply shortages, labor costs, worker shortages, as well as consumers, who have not pulled back." However, new month fund flows proved too powerful to sustain yesterday's month-end dump and with futures rising - and panic receding - safe havens were sold and the 10-year Treasury yield jumped almost 6bps, approaching 1.50%. The gap between yields on 5-year and 30-year Treasuries was around the narrowest since March last year. Crude oil and commodity-linked currencies rebounded. Gold remained just under $1,800 and bitcoin traded just over $57,000. There was more good news on the covid front with a WHO official saying some of the early indications are that most Omicron cases are mild with no severe cases. Separately Merck gained 3.8% in premarket trade after a panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration narrowly voted to recommend the agency authorize the drugmaker's antiviral pill to treat COVID-19. Travel and leisure stocks also rebounded, with cruiseliners Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean rising more than 2.5% each. Easing of covid fears also pushed airlines and travel stocks higher in premarket trading: Southwest +2.9%, Delta +2.5%, Spirit +2.3%, American +2.2%, United +1.9%, JetBlue +1.3%. Vaccine makers traded modestly lower in pre-market trading after soaring in recent days as Wall Street weighs the widening spread of the omicron variant. Merck & Co. bucked the trend after its Covid-19 pill narrowly gained a key recommendation from advisers to U.S. regulators. Moderna slips 2.1%, BioNTech dips 1.3% and Pfizer is down 0.2%. Elsewhere, Occidental Petroleum led gains among the energy stocks, up 3.2% as oil prices climbed over 4% ahead of OPEC's meeting. Shares of major Wall Street lenders also moved higher after steep falls on Tuesday. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: Salesforce (CRM US) drops 5.9% in premarket trading after results and guidance missed estimates, with analysts highlighting currency-related headwinds and plateauing growth at the MuleSoft integration software business. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE US) falls 1.3% in premarket after the computer equipment maker’s quarterly results showed the impact of the global supply chain crunch. Analysts noted solid order trends. Merck (MRK US) shares rise 5.8% in premarket after the company’s Covid-19 pill narrowly wins backing from FDA advisers, which analysts say is a sign of progress despite lingering challenges. Chinese electric vehicle makers were higher in premarket, leading U.S. peers up, after Nio, Li and XPeng reported strong deliveries for November; Nio (NIO US) +4%, Li (LI US ) +6%, XPeng (XPEV US) +4.3%. Ardelyx (ARDX US) shares gain as much as 34% in premarket, extending the biotech’s bounce after announcing plans to launch its irritable bowel syndrome treatment Ibsrela in the second quarter. CTI BioPharma (CTIC US) shares sink 18% in premarket after the company said the FDA extended the review period for a new drug application for pacritinib. Allbirds (BIRD US) fell 7.5% postmarket after the low end of the shoe retailer’s 2021 revenue forecast missed the average analyst estimate. Zscaler (ZS US) posted “yet another impressive quarter,” according to BMO. Several analysts increased their price targets for the security software company. Shares rose 4.6% in postmarket. Ambarella (AMBA US) rose 14% in postmarket after forecasting revenue for the fourth quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Emcore (EMKR US) fell 9% postmarket after the aerospace and communications supplier reported fiscal fourth-quarter Ebitda that missed the average analyst estimate. Box (BOX US) shares gained as much as 10% in postmarket trading after the cloud company raised its revenue forecast for the full year. Meanwhile, the omicron variant continues to spread around the globe, though symptoms so far appear to be relatively mild. The Biden administration plans to tighten rules on travel to the U.S., and Japan said it would bar foreign residents returning from 10 southern African nations. As Bloomberg notes, volatility is buffeting markets as investors scrutinize whether the pandemic recovery can weather diminishing monetary policy support and potential risks from the omicron virus variant. Global manufacturing activity stabilized last month, purchasing managers’ gauges showed Wednesday, and while central banks are scaling back ultra-loose settings, financial conditions remain favorable in key economies. “The reality is hotter inflation coupled with a strong economic backdrop could end the Fed’s bond buying program as early as the first quarter of next year,” Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management, said in emailed comments. “With potential changes in policy on the horizon, market participants should expect additional market volatility in this uncharted territory.” Looking ahead, Powell is back on the Hill for day 2, and is due to testify before a House Financial Services Committee hybrid hearing at 10 a.m. ET. On the economic data front, November readings on U.S. private payrolls and manufacturing activity will be closely watched later in the day to gauge the health of the American economy. Investors are also awaiting the Fed's latest "Beige Book" due at 2:00 p.m. ET. On the economic data front, November readings on U.S. private payrolls and manufacturing activity will be closely watched later in the day to gauge the health of the American economy. European equities soared more than 1.2%, with travel stocks and carmakers leading broad-based gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 index, all but wiping out Tuesday’s decline that capped only the third monthly loss for the benchmark this year.  Travel, miners and autos are the strongest sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Proximus shares rise as much as 6.5% after the company said it’s started preliminary talks regarding a potential deal involving TeleSign, with a SPAC merger among options under consideration. Dr. Martens gains as much as 4.6% to the highest since Sept. 8 after being upgraded to overweight from equal- weight at Barclays, which says the stock’s de-rating is overdone. Husqvarna advances as much as 5.3% after the company upgraded financial targets ahead of its capital markets day, including raising the profit margin target to 13% from 10%. Wizz Air, Lufthansa and other travel shares were among the biggest gainers as the sector rebounded after Tuesday’s losses; at a conference Wizz Air’s CEO reiterated expansion plans. Wizz Air gains as much as 7.5%, Lufthansa as much as 6.8% Elis, Accor and other stocks in the French travel and hospitality sector also rise after the country’s government pledged to support an industry that’s starting to get hit by the latest Covid-19 wave. Pendragon climbs as much as 6.5% after the car dealer boosted its outlook after the company said a supply crunch in the new vehicle market wasn’t as bad as it had anticipated. UniCredit rises as much as 3.6%, outperforming the Stoxx 600 Banks Index, after Deutsche Bank added the stock to its “top picks” list alongside UBS, and Bank of Ireland, Erste, Lloyds and Societe Generale. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks also soared, snapping a three-day losing streak, led by energy and technology shares, as traders assessed the potential impact from the omicron coronavirus variant and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish pivot. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.3% Wednesday. South Korea led regional gains after reporting strong export figures, which bolsters growth prospects despite record domestic Covid-19 cases. Hong Kong stocks also bounced back after falling Tuesday to their lowest level since September 2020. Asia’s stock benchmark rebounded from a one-year low, though sentiment remained clouded by lingering concerns on the omicron strain and Fed’s potentially faster tapering pace. Powell earlier hinted that the U.S. central bank will accelerate its asset purchases at its meeting later this month.  “A faster taper in the U.S. is still dependent on omicron not causing a big setback to the outlook in the next few weeks,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, adding that he expects the Fed’s policy rate “will still be low through next year, which should still enable good global growth which will benefit Asia.” Chinese equities edged up after the latest economic data showed manufacturing activity remained at relatively weak levels in November, missing economists’ expectations. Earlier, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said he’s fully confident in the nation’s economic growth in 2022 Japanese stocks rose, overcoming early volatility as traders parsed hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which closed 0.4% higher after swinging between a gain of 0.9% and loss of 0.7% in the morning session. Daikin and Fanuc were the largest contributors to a 0.4% rise in the Nikkei 225, which similarly fluctuated. The Topix had dropped 4.8% over the previous three sessions due to concerns over the omicron virus variant. The benchmark fell 3.6% in November, its worst month since July 2020. “The market’s tolerance to risk is quite low at the moment, with people responding in a big way to the smallest bit of negative news,” said Tomo Kinoshita, a global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management in Tokyo. “But the decline in Japanese equities was far worse than those of other developed markets, so today’s market may find a bit of calm.” U.S. shares tumbled Tuesday after Powell said officials should weigh removing pandemic support at a faster pace and retired the word “transitory” to describe stubbornly high inflation In rates, bonds trade heavy, as yield curves bear-flatten. Treasuries extended declines with belly of the curve cheapening vs wings as traders continue to price in additional rate-hike premium over the next two years. Treasury yields were cheaper by up to 5bp across belly of the curve, cheapening 2s5s30s spread by ~5.5bp on the day; 10-year yields around 1.48%, cheaper by ~4bp, while gilts lag by additional 2bp in the sector. The short-end of the gilt curve markedly underperforms bunds and Treasuries with 2y yields rising ~11bps near 0.568%. Peripheral spreads widen with belly of the Italian curve lagging. The flattening Treasury yield curve “doesn’t suggest imminent doom for the equity market in and of itself,” Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co., said on Bloomberg Television. “Alarm bells go off in terms of recession” when the curve gets closer to inverting, she said. In FX, the Turkish lira had a wild session, offered in early London trade before fading. USD/TRY dropped sharply to lows of 12.4267 on reports of central bank FX intervention due to “unhealthy price formations” before, once again, fading TRY strength after comments from Erdogan. The rest of G-10 FX is choppy; commodity currencies retain Asia’s bid tone, havens are sold: the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower, as the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers. The euro moved in a narrow range and Bund yields followed U.S. yields higher. The pound advanced as risk sentiment stabilized with focus still on news about the omicron variant. The U.K. 10-, 30-year curve flirted with inversion as gilts flattened, with money markets betting on 10bps of BOE tightening this month for the first time since Friday. The Australian and New Zealand dollars advanced as rising commodity prices fuel demand from exporters and leveraged funds. Better-than-expected growth data also aided the Aussie, with GDP expanding by 3.9% in the third quarter from a year earlier, beating the 3% estimated by economists. Austrian lawmakers extended a nationwide lockdown for a second 10-day period to suppress the latest wave of coronavirus infections before the Christmas holiday period.  The yen declined by the most among the Group-of-10 currencies as Powell’s comments renewed focus on yield differentials. 10-year yields rose ahead of Thursday’s debt auction In commodities, crude futures rally. WTI adds over 4% to trade on a $69-handle, Brent recovers near $72.40 after Goldman said overnight that oil had gotten extremely oversold. Spot gold fades a pop higher to trade near $1,785/oz. Base metals trade well with LME copper and nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, once again we’ll have Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen appearing, this time before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to that, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and BoE Governor Bailey is also speaking. On the data front, the main release will be the manufacturing PMIs from around the world, but there’s also the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November in the US, the ISM manufacturing reading in the US as well for November, and German retail sales for October. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.2% to 4,620.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 467.58 MXAP up 0.9% to 191.52 MXAPJ up 1.1% to 626.09 Nikkei up 0.4% to 27,935.62 Topix up 0.4% to 1,936.74 Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 23,658.92 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,576.89 Sensex up 1.0% to 57,656.51 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,235.85 Kospi up 2.1% to 2,899.72 Brent Futures up 4.2% to $72.15/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,778.93 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.98 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.31% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1326 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Thursday, the first direct contact between officials of the two countries in weeks as tensions grow amid western fears Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine Oil rebounded from a sharp drop on speculation that recent deep losses were excessive and OPEC+ may on Thursday decide to pause hikes in production, with the abrupt reversal fanning already- elevated volatility The EU is set to recommend that member states review essential travel restrictions on a daily basis in the wake of the omicron variant, according to a draft EU document seen by Bloomberg China is planning to ban companies from going public on foreign stock markets through variable interest entities, according to people familiar with the matter, closing a loophole long used by the country’s technology industry to raise capital from overseas investors Manufacturing activity in Asia outside China stabilized last month amid easing lockdown and border restrictions, setting the sector on course to face a possible new challenge from the omicron variant of the coronavirus Germany urgently needs stricter measures to check a surge in Covid-19 infections and protect hospitals from a “particularly dangerous situation,” according to the head of the country’s DIVI intensive-care medicine lobby. A more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly positive as regional bourses atoned for the prior day’s losses that were triggered by Omicron concerns, but with some of the momentum tempered by recent comments from Fed Chair Powell and mixed data releases including the miss on Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI. ASX 200 (-0.3%) was led lower by underperformance in consumer stocks and with utilities also pressured as reports noted that Shell and Telstra’s entrance in the domestic electricity market is set to ignite fierce competition and force existing players to overhaul their operations, although the losses in the index were cushioned following the latest GDP data which showed a narrower than feared quarterly contraction in Australia’s economy. Nikkei 225 (+0.4%) was on the mend after yesterday’s sell-off with the index helped by favourable currency flows and following a jump in company profits for Q3, while the KOSPI (+2.1%) was also boosted by strong trade data. Hang Seng (+0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) were somewhat varied as a tech resurgence in Hong Kong overcompensated for the continued weakness in casinos stocks amid ongoing SunCity woes which closed all VIP gaming rooms in Macau after its Chairman's recent arrest, while the mood in the mainland was more reserved after a PBoC liquidity drain and disappointing Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI data which fell short of estimates and slipped back into contraction territory. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid the gains in Japanese stocks and after the pullback in global fixed income peers in the aftermath of Fed Chair Powell’s hawkish comments, while a lack of BoJ purchases further contributed to the subdued demand for JGBs. Top Asian News Asia Stocks Bounce Back from One-Year Low Despite Looming Risks Gold Swings on Omicron’s Widening Spread, Inflation Worries Shell Sees Hedge Funds Moving to LNG, Supporting Higher Prices Abe Warns China Invading Taiwan Would Be ‘Economic Suicide’ Bourses in Europe are firmer across the board (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.6%; Stoxx 600 +1.1%) as the positive APAC sentiment reverberated into European markets. US equity futures are also on the front foot with the cyclical RTY (+2.0%) outpacing its peers: ES (+1.2%), NQ (+1.5%), YM (+0.8%). COVID remains a central theme for the time being as the Omicron variant is observed for any effects of concern – which thus far have not been reported. Analysts at UBS expect market focus to shift away from the variant and more towards growth and earnings. The analysts expect Omicron to fuse into the ongoing Delta outbreak that economies have already been tackling. Under this scenario, the desk expects some of the more cyclical markets and sectors to outperform. The desk also flags two tails risks, including an evasive variant and central bank tightening – particularly after Fed chair Powell’s commentary yesterday. Meanwhile, BofA looks for an over-10% fall in European stocks next year. Sticking with macro updates, the OECD, in their latest economic outlook, cut US, China, Eurozone growth forecasts for 2021 and 2022, with Omicron cited as a factor. Back to trade, broad-based gains are seen across European cash markets. Sectors hold a clear cyclical bias which consists of Travel & Leisure, Basic Resources, Autos, Retail and Oil & Gas as the top performers – with the former bolstered by the seemingly low appetite for coordination on restrictions and measures at an EU level – Deutsche Lufthansa (+6%) and IAG (+5.1%) now reside at the top of the Stoxx 600. The other side of the spectrum sees the defensive sectors – with Healthcare, Household Goods, Food & Beverages as the straddlers. In terms of induvial movers, German-listed Adler Group (+22%) following a divestment, whilst Blue Prism (+1.7%) is firmer after SS&C raised its offer for the Co. Top European News Wizz Says Travelers Are Booking at Shorter and Shorter Notice Turkey Central Bank Intervenes in FX Markets to Stabilize Lira Gold Swings on Omicron’s Widening Spread, Inflation Worries Former ABG Sundal Collier Partner Starts Advisory Firm In FX, the Dollar remains mixed against majors, but well off highs prompted by Fed chair Powell ditching transitory from the list of adjectives used to describe inflation and flagging that a faster pace of tapering will be on the agenda at December’s FOMC. However, the index is keeping tabs on the 96.000 handle and has retrenched into a tighter 95.774-96.138 range, for the time being, as trade remains very choppy and volatility elevated awaiting clearer medical data and analysis on Omicron to gauge its impact compared to the Delta strain and earlier COVID-19 variants. In the interim, US macro fundamentals might have some bearing, but the bar is high before NFP on Friday unless ADP or ISM really deviate from consensus or outside the forecast range. Instead, Fed chair Powell part II may be more pivotal if he opts to manage hawkish market expectations, while the Beige Book prepared for next month’s policy meeting could also add some additional insight. NZD/AUD/CAD/GBP - Broad risk sentiment continues to swing from side to side, and currently back in favour of the high beta, commodity and cyclical types, so the Kiwi has bounced firmly from worst levels on Tuesday ahead of NZ terms of trade, the Aussie has pared a chunk of its declines with some assistance from a smaller than anticipated GDP contraction and the Loonie is licking wounds alongside WTI in advance of Canadian building permits and Markit’s manufacturing PMI. Similarly, Sterling has regained some poise irrespective of relatively dovish remarks from BoE’s Mann and a slender downward revision to the final UK manufacturing PMI. Nzd/Usd is firmly back above 0.6800, Aud/Usd close to 0.7150 again, Usd/Cad straddling 1.2750 and Cable hovering on the 1.3300 handle compared to circa 0.6772, 0.7063, 1.2837 and 1.3195 respectively at various fairly adjacent stages yesterday. JPY/EUR/CHF - All undermined by the aforementioned latest upturn in risk appetite or less angst about coronavirus contagion, albeit to varying degrees, as the Yen retreats to retest support sub-113.50, Euro treads water above 1.1300 and Franc straddles 0.9200 after firmer than forecast Swiss CPI data vs a dip in the manufacturing PMI. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are recovering following yesterday’s COVID and Powell-induced declines in the run-up to the OPEC meetings later today. The complex has also been underpinned by the reduced prospects of coordinated EU-wide restrictions, as per the abandonment of the COVID video conference between EU leaders. However, OPEC+ will take centre stage over the next couple of days, with a deluge of source reports likely as OPEC tests the waters. The case for OPEC+ to pause the planned monthly relaxation of output curbs by 400k BPD has been strengthening. There have been major supply and demand developments since the prior meeting. The recent emergence of the Omicron COVID variant and coordinated release of oil reserves have shifted the balance of expectations relative to earlier in the month (full Newsquawk preview available in the Research Suite). In terms of the schedule, the OPEC meeting is slated for 13:00GMT/08:00EST followed by the JTC meeting at 15:00GMT/10:00EST, whilst tomorrow sees the JMMC meeting at 12:00GMT/07:00EST; OPEC+ meeting at 13:00GMT/08:00EST. WTI Jan has reclaimed a USD 69/bbl handle (vs USD 66.20/bbl low) while Brent Feb hovers around USD 72.50/bbl (vs low USD 69.38/bbl) at the time of writing. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver trade with modest gains and largely in tandem with the Buck. Spot gold failed to sustain gains above the cluster of DMAs under USD 1,800/oz (100 DMA at USD 1,792/oz, 200 DMA at USD 1,791/oz, and 50 DMA at USD 1,790/oz) – trader should be aware of the potential for a technical Golden Cross (50 DMA > 200 DMA). Turning to base metals, copper is supported by the overall risk appetite, with the LME contract back above USD 9,500/t. Overnight, Chinese coking coal and coke futures rose over 5% apiece, with traders citing disrupted supply from Mongolia amid the COVID outbreak in the region. US Event Calendar 7am: Nov. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 1.8% 8:15am: Nov. ADP Employment Change, est. 525,000, prior 571,000 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 59.1 10am: Oct. Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.4%, prior -0.5% 10am: Nov. ISM Manufacturing, est. 61.2, prior 60.8 2pm: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book Nov. Wards Total Vehicle Sales, est. 13.4m, prior 13m Central Banks 10am: Powell, Yellen Testify Before House Panel on CARES Act Relief DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap If you’re under 10 and reading this there’s a spoiler alert today in this first para so please skip beyond and onto the second. Yes my heart broke a little last night as my little 6-year old Maisie said to me at bedtime that “Santa isn’t real is he Daddy?”. I lied (I think it’s a lie) and said yes he was. I made up an elaborate story about how when we renovated our 100 year old house we deliberately kept the chimney purely to let Santa come down it once a year. Otherwise why would we have kept it? She then asked what about her friend who lives in a flat? I tried to bluff my way through it but maybe my answer sounded a bit like my answers as to what will happen with Omicron. I’ll test both out on clients later to see which is more convincing. Before we get to the latest on the virus, given it’s the start of the month, we’ll shortly be publishing our November performance review looking at how different assets fared over the month just gone and YTD. It arrived late on but Omicron was obviously the dominant story and led to some of the biggest swings of the year so far. It meant that oil (which is still the top performer on a YTD basis) was the worst performer in our monthly sample, with WTI and Brent seeing their worst monthly performances since the initial wave of market turmoil over Covid back in March 2020. And at the other end, sovereign bonds outperformed in November as Omicron’s emergence saw investors push back the likelihood of imminent rate hikes from central banks. So what was shaping up to be a good month for risk and a bad one for bonds flipped around in injury time. Watch out for the report soon from Henry. Back to yesterday now, and frankly the main takeaway was that markets were desperate for any piece of news they could get their hands on about the Omicron variant, particularly given the lack of proper hard data at the moment. The morning started with a sharp selloff as we discussed at the top yesterday, as some of the more optimistic noises from Monday were outweighed by that FT interview, whereby Moderna’s chief executive had said that the existing vaccines wouldn’t be as effective against the new variant. Then we had some further negative news from Regeneron, who said that analysis and modelling of the Omicron mutations indicated that its antibody drug may not be as effective, but that they were doing further analysis to confirm this. However, we later got some comments from a University of Oxford spokesperson, who said that there wasn’t any evidence so far that vaccinations wouldn’t provide high levels of protection against severe disease, which coincided with a shift in sentiment early in the European afternoon as equities begun to pare back their losses. The CEO of BioNTech and the Israeli health minister expressed similar sentiments, noting that vaccines were still likely to protect against severe disease even among those infected by Omicron, joining other officials encouraging people to get vaccinated or get booster shots. Another reassuring sign came in an update from the EU’s ECDC yesterday, who said that all of the 44 confirmed cases where information was available on severity “were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.” After the close, the FDA endorsed Merck’s antiviral Covid pill. While it’s not clear how the pill interacts with Omicron, the proliferation of more Covid treatments is still good news as we head into another winter. The other big piece of news came from Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, where the main headline was his tapering comment that “It is appropriate to consider wrapping up a few months sooner.” So that would indicate an acceleration in the pace, which would be consistent with the view from our US economists that we’ll see a doubling in the pace of reductions at the December meeting that’s only two weeks from today. The Fed Chair made a forceful case for a faster taper despite lingering Omicron uncertainties, noting inflation is likely to stay elevated, the labour market has improved without a commensurate increase in labour supply (those sidelined because of Covid are likely to stay there), spending has remained strong, and that tapering was a removal of accommodation (which the economy doesn’t need more of given the first three points). Powell took pains to stress the risk of higher inflation, going so far as to ‘retire’ the use of the term ‘transitory’ when describing the current inflation outlook. So team transitory have seemingly had the pitch taken away from them mid match. The Chair left an exit clause that this outlook would be informed by incoming inflation, employment, and Omicron data before the December FOMC meeting. A faster taper ostensibly opens the door to earlier rate hikes and Powell’s comment led to a sharp move higher in shorter-dated Treasury yields, with the 2yr yield up +8.1bps on the day, having actually been more than -4bps lower when Powell began speaking. They were as low as 0.44% then and got as high as 0.57% before closing at 0.56%. 2yr yields have taken another leg higher overnight, increasing +2.5bps to 0.592%. Long-end yields moved lower though and failed to back up the early day moves even after Powell, leading to a major flattening in the yield curve on the back of those remarks, with the 2s10s down -13.7bps to 87.3bps, which is its flattest level since early January. Overnight 10yr yields are back up +3bps but the curve is only a touch steeper. My 2 cents on the yield curve are that the 2s10s continues to be my favourite US recession indicator. It’s worked over more cycles through history than any other. No recession since the early 1950s has occurred without the 2s10s inverting. But it takes on average 12-18 months from inversion to recession. The shortest was the covid recession at around 7 months which clearly doesn’t count but I think we were very late cycle in early 2020 and the probability of recession in the not too distant future was quite high but we will never know.The shortest outside of that was around 9 months. So with the curve still at c.+90bps we are moving in a more worrying direction but I would still say 2023-24 is the very earliest a recession is likely to occur (outside of a unexpected shock) and we’ll need a rapid flattening in 22 to encourage that. History also suggests markets tend to ignore the YC until it’s too late. So I wouldn’t base my market views in 22 on the yield curve and recession signal yet. However its something to look at as the Fed seemingly embarks on a tightening cycle in the months ahead. Onto markets and those remarks from Powell (along with the additional earlier pessimism about Omicron) proved incredibly unhelpful for equities yesterday, with the S&P 500 (-1.90%) giving up the previous day’s gains to close at its lowest level in over a month. It’s hard to overstate how broad-based this decline was, as just 7 companies in the entire S&P moved higher yesterday, which is the lowest number of the entire year so far and the lowest since June 11th, 2020, when 1 company ended in the green. Over in Europe it was much the same story, although they were relatively less affected by Powell’s remarks, and the STOXX 600 (-0.92%) moved lower on the day as well. Overnight in Asia, stocks are trading higher though with the KOSPI (+2.02%), Hang Seng (+1.40%), the Nikkei (+0.37%), Shanghai Composite (+0.11%) and CSI (+0.09%) all in the green. Australia’s Q3 GDP contracted (-1.9% qoq) less than -2.7% consensus while India’s Q3 GDP grew at a firm +8.4% year-on-year beating the +8.3% consensus. In China the Caixin Manufacturing PMI for November came in at 49.9 against a 50.6 consensus. Futures markets are indicating a positive start to markets in US & Europe with the S&P 500 (+0.73%) and DAX (+0.44%) trading higher again. Back in Europe, there was a significant inflation story amidst the other headlines above, since Euro Area inflation rose to its highest level since the creation of the single currency, with the flash estimate for November up to +4.9% (vs. +4.5% expected). That exceeded every economist’s estimate on Bloomberg, and core inflation also surpassed expectations at +2.6% (vs. +2.3% expected), again surpassing the all-time high since the single currency began. That’s only going to add to the pressure on the ECB, and yesterday saw Germany’s incoming Chancellor Scholz say that “we have to do something” if inflation doesn’t ease. European sovereign bonds rallied in spite of the inflation reading, with those on 10yr bunds (-3.1bps), OATs (-3.5bps) and BTPs (-0.9bps) all moving lower. Peripheral spreads widened once again though, and the gap between Italian and German 10yr yields closed at its highest level in just over a year. Meanwhile governments continued to move towards further action as the Omicron variant spreads, and Greece said that vaccinations would be mandatory for everyone over 60 soon, with those refusing having to pay a monthly €100 fine. Separately in Germany, incoming Chancellor Scholz said that there would be a parliamentary vote on the question of compulsory vaccinations, saying to the Bild newspaper in an interview that “My recommendation is that we don’t do this as a government, because it’s an issue of conscience”. In terms of other data yesterday, German unemployment fell by -34k in November (vs. -25k expected). Separately, the November CPI readings from France at +3.4% (vs. +3.2% expected) and Italy at +4.0% (vs. +3.3% expected) surprised to the upside as well. In the US, however, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure in November fell to its lowest since February at 109.5 (vs. 110.9 expected), and the MNI Chicago PMI for November fell to 61.8 9vs. 67.0 expected). To the day ahead now, and once again we’ll have Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen appearing, this time before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to that, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and BoE Governor Bailey is also speaking. On the data front, the main release will be the manufacturing PMIs from around the world, but there’s also the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November in the US, the ISM manufacturing reading in the US as well for November, and German retail sales for October. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 07:47.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

Sealed Air (SEE) Gains 43% YTD: What"s Driving the Rally?

Sealed Air (SEE) is poised on the ongoing strength in packaging and e-commerce demand as well as savings from its Reinvent SEE strategy. Shares of Sealed Air Corporation SEE have been appreciating so far this year, courtesy of improved top and bottom-line performance in the three quarters of 2021 and an upbeat guidance for the current year. The company has been benefiting from the ongoing strength in packaging demand for food, medical supplies and consumer staples, and increased e-commerce activity. Apart from strong demand for automated equipment and sustainable packaging solutions, SEE is also witnessing higher food service demand. The company’s Reinvent SEE Strategy has been contributing to its earnings performance.Sealed Air has an expected long-term earnings per share growth rate of 9.6%. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.5%, on average.The company’s current-year earnings estimates have been revised upward by 1% over the past 30 days, while the same for 2022 has moved north by 2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for 2021 is currently pegged at $3.56, which suggests year-over-year growth of 11.6%. The same for 2022 stands is $4.11, indicating year-over-year improvement of 15.5%.Share Price PerformanceThe stock has gained 41.4% year to date, compared with the industry’s growth of 9.3%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchDriving FactorsSolid Results So Far This Fiscal: Sealed Air has delivered year-over-year improvement in both revenues and adjusted earnings per share in all the three quarters of 2021. Overall revenues improved 12% year over year to $4 billion in the first nine-month period of 2021. Sales in the Food segment in the period went up 8% on favorable pricing and higher volumes with increases across all regions, primarily driven by rising demand in the global food service industry compared to last year and increased automated equipment sales. The Protective Segment’s sales were up 18%, on higher volumes on surging industrial segment demand, strength in automated equipment, sustained momentum in e-commerce and higher demand across all regions.Favorable pricing due to price actions to offset rising input cost led to the improved results as well. Adjusted earnings in the first nine month period of 2021 came in at $2.43, up 6% year over year on higher volumes and benefits from the company’s Reinvent SEE initiatives.Upbeat Guidance: For 2021, Sealed Air expects net sales of $5.5 billion, indicating an increase of 12% as reported and 11% in constant dollars. The company now expects adjusted EBITDA between $1.12 billion and $1.14 billion for the current year. The adjusted earnings per share are anticipated in the band of $3.50 to $3.60. The mid-point of the guidance implies year-over-year earnings growth of 11%. Strong Demand to Fuel Top Line: Around 63% of Sealed Air’s revenues stem from packaging of protein, foods, fluids and goods for the medical and life sciences industries. The food care business continues to gain from the shift in demand for case ready, shrink bags and pre-packaged meals and snacks designed for home consumption amid the pandemic-induced restrictions.In the medical and life sciences portfolio, demand for protected packaging solutions for medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and personal protective equipment remains high. It has been gaining from growth in online shipments of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. The company has been witnessing increased demand for temperature assurance packaging solutions that ensure safe and secure distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Further, e-commerce sales, which contribute around 14% to the company’s sales, have been on the rise amid the stay-at-home scenario.  Sealed Air continues to capitalize on global e-commerce growth and increased demand for recyclable materials, fiber-based solutions and automated packaging.Ongoing Benefits From Reinvent SEE Strategy: In December 2018, Sealed Air announced a reformation plan — Reinvent SEE Strategy — along with a fresh restructuring program to drive growth. The new strategy is focused on innovations, SG&A productivity, product-cost efficiency, channel optimization and customer-service enhancements. One of the most vital aspects of this strategy involves investment in technology and resources focused on new and existing high-growth markets. The company achieved $43 million benefits from Reinvent SEE in the first nine-month period of 2021, which puts it on track to realize benefits of around $65 million for the full year.Automation & Acquisitions Remain Catalysts: Sealed Air’s focus on automation, digital and sustainability is expected to drive above-market growth in its core business. The company’s pipeline for automated equipment continues to improve, and it has set a target of over $500 million by 2025.The acquisition of Automated Packaging Systems strengthened Sealed Air’s automated solutions and sustainable packaging offerings. The buyout of AFP, Inc. expanded its protective packaging solutions in the electronics, transportation and industrial markets with custom-engineered applications. AFP along with the prior acquisition of Fagerdala align well with the ship-in-own-container (SIOC) trend in e-commerce. This trend is transforming e-commerce packaging as more distributors want manufacturers to have their primary packaging parcel ready. These acquisitions and investments that the company has been making in its core business are likely to drive growth.Zacks RankSealed Air currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).A Look at Other Packaging StocksBerry Global Group BERY has been gaining from strength in its food & beverage and healthcare end markets, and recovery in the construction space. Its focus on improving operational productivity, along with its partnerships across the value chain, bode well. Shares of BERY have gained 21% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Berry Global’s fiscal 2022 earnings fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 15% in the past 30 days. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 16.5%, on average. The company has a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Amcor plc’s AMCR sales have been benefiting from the stay-at-home trend amid the pandemic. Both the Rigid Packaging and Flexible Packaging segments are performing well through a combination of organic growth and disciplined cost control. The company’s shares have gone up 2% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Amcor’s fiscal 2022 earnings indicates year-over-year growth of 8%. AMCR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 1.2%, on average. The company carries Zacks Rank of 3.Sonoco Products Co. SON has been gaining from elevated at-home eating trends. The Industrial Paper Packaging segment will benefit from strong demand. The company's focus on optimizing businesses, productivity improvement, standardization and cost control will drive the results. Shares of SON have gained 5% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Sonoco’s ongoing-year earnings indicates a year-over-year growth of 3.5%. It has a Zacks Rank of 3 and a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 3%, on average. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Sealed Air Corporation (SEE): Free Stock Analysis Report Sonoco Products Company (SON): Free Stock Analysis Report Berry Global Group, Inc. (BERY): Free Stock Analysis Report Amcor PLC (AMCR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 26th, 2021

Humana (HUM) Ties Up With Allina Health to Boost Value-Based Care

Humana (HUM) expands value-based agreement with Allina Health, which is aimed at offering enhanced outcomes for HUM's MA members in Minnesota. Humana Inc. HUM recently extended the value-based agreement with Minnesota-based Allina Health in a bid to offer enhanced health outcomes to Humana Medicare Advantage (“MA”) members across the state.Effective from the beginning of 2022, the multi-year deal with Allina Health underscores Humana’s consistent efforts to deliver value-based care across the United States. The agreement is primarily focused on devising personalized care plans with the aid of well-versed medical teams, and offering proactive health screenings and programs best suited for each patient’s needs.Value-based agreements utilize advanced technologies to enhance care coordination between physicians and patients. This integrated care delivery model is basically a transition from fee-for-service, which reimburses physicians on the basis of the number of services provided, to the value-based payment model that reimburses the physicians on the basis of the recovery of the patients they treat.Initiatives similar to the latest one are expected to strengthen Humana’s MA business. Concurrently, the move aims to include additional members within HUM’s value-based relationships. As of Sep 31, 2021, roughly 68% of the individual MA members of Humana were in value-based relationships under its integrated care delivery model compared to 66% in the prior-year comparable period.The latest initiative also highlights HUM’s efforts to bolster its presence in Minnesota, wherein it provides cost-effective HMO-POS and local PPO plans. Meanwhile, Allina Health, with its robust healthcare network, seems to be the apt partner for expanding Humana’s Minnesota footprint.Humana boasts of a strong Medicare business across the United States, where it has been offering a minimum of one Medicare plan across 50 states. HUM has been providing private health plans coming under the Medicare program for more than 30 years. The COVID-19 outbreak coupled with an aging population in the United States has further spurred the demand for MA plans, which remains the preferred choice for consumers owing to several bundled benefits, improved care coordination and affordable nature.Humana continues to pursue collaborations with physicians and well-established health care professionals to deliver enhanced care to patients. These initiatives have enabled HUM to bolster its nationwide footprint and delve into underserved areas.The MA business of Humana continues to witness increased membership, which has fetched higher premiums. Several contract wins and renewals similar to the latest one have been driving the Medicare business.Higher premiums have been contributing the most to Humana’s revenues, which have risen consistently since 2010, except in 2017. HUM’s Medicare products contribute significantly to the consistent top-line growth and the nine months of 2021 was no exception to the trend. In the said time frame, Medicare products accounted for around 83% of the total premiums and services revenues fetched by Humana.Similar to HUM, other medical stocks such as Cigna Corporation CI, Centene Corporation CNC and UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH also cater to healthcare needs of people through MA plans.Cigna’s MA business has performed well courtesy of constant product expansions, growing membership, and new collaborations or contract extensions with renowned healthcare systems. This has been bolstering CI’s partner networks and strengthening its U.S. footprint. Cigna remains on track to achieve MA customer growth in the targeted range of 10-15% this year.Centene caters to more than 1.1 million MA members across 33 states. Several contract wins and renewals have resulted in higher membership growth for the MA business. For 2022, with enhanced MA offerings, Centene has plans to foray into 327 new counties and three new states, namely Massachusetts, Nebraska and Oklahoma. This will bring the count of MA states to 36.UnitedHealth Group remains well-poised to benefit from a strong MA business. The business has performed well courtesy of numerous business wins and robust membership rise in individual MA business amid the annual enrollment period. The 2021 Medicare enrollment season marked the largest MA footprint expansion of UNH in five years. UnitedHealth Group expects to add nearly 900,000 people to its Medicare plans in 2021.Shares of Humana have gained 5.9% in a year compared with the industry’s rally of 26.9%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchHumana presently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Shares of Cigna, Centene and UnitedHealth Group gained 0.8%, 16.9% and 30.2%, respectively, in a year. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Humana Inc. (HUM): Free Stock Analysis Report Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report Centene Corporation (CNC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 23rd, 2021

CVS Health"s (CVS) New Measures to Boost Omnichannel Health

CVS Health's (CVS) new measures will support its strategy of making health care more affordable, accessible and convenient for consumers. CVS Health Corporation CVS recently announced several measures to support its ongoing strategy of making health care more affordable, accessible and convenient for consumers. With the announcement of several new measures, the company is focused on the competitive advantage provided by the presence in communities across the country. This factor complements CVS Health’s rapidly-expanding digital presence.The company announced several executive leadership appointments and shared plans to close approximately 300 stores a year for the next three years. These changes will begin in the spring of 2022.Leadership Position TransitionsThe company appointed Mr. Prem Shah (the current executive vice president, Specialty Pharmacy and Product Innovation) for the newly-created role of chief pharmacy officer. Shah will oversee the entire omnichannel pharmacy strategy.On Jan 1, 2022, Shah and Michelle Peluso (the company’s current executive vice president and chief customer officer) will become co-presidents of CVS Health’s retail business, with Peluso overseeing front-store strategy and operations.In connection with the new leadership appointments, Neela Montgomery -- currently executive vice president and president, CVS Retail/Pharmacy, has decided to leave the company.More on the New InitiativesAs part of the company's strategic review of the retail business, CVS Health will also develop new store formats to accelerate higher customer engagement.The company stated that three diverse models will serve as community health destinations, including sites intended to offer primary care services, an improved version of HealthHUB locations with products and services designed for everyday health and wellness needs, and traditional CVS Pharmacy stores that offers prescription services and health, wellness, personal care as well as other convenient retail offerings.Financial ImplicationsIn association with the planned closing of the stores, the company expects to record impairment expenses of $1.00-$1.20 billion or 56-67 cents of diluted earnings per share (EPS) in fourth-quarter 2021.As a result of the planned store closures, the company also revised its full-year 2021 adjusted EPS guidance range to $5.46-$5.67 from $6.13-$6.23. The impairment expenses are excluded from the company's calculation of adjusted EPS.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $7.94.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe company projects the impact to adjusted EPS to be immaterial in 2021 and 2022 and modestly accretive in 2023 and thereafter.Recent DevelopmentsCVS Health has been making significant progress in business banking on strength across all three of its operation segments.During third-quarter 2021, the company witnessed strong demand for integrated solutions across the healthcare continuum, including health management programs for chronic conditions, mental health support, pharmacy services, and health and wellness products in the reported quarter.The retail segment reported above-market growth and exceeded the company’s expectations with 10% revenue growth. Pharmacy services outperformed the company’s expectations, delivering a 9.3% revenue increase and strong operating income growth. Specialty pharmacy revenues were up 8.7% year over year. The company noted that it is enhancing consumers’ experience by expanding digital services and platforms that connect to health services and in-person channels for more than 35 million unique digital customers.Price PerformanceShares of the company have gained 43.6% in a year’s time compared with the industry’s rise of 36.8%.Zacks Rank and Other Key PicksCVS Health currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).A few other top-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Chemed Corporation CHE, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, or LabCorp LH and Medpace Holdings, Inc. MEDP, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2.Chemed has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.7%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 5.6%, on average.Chemed has outperformed its industry in the past year. CHE has gained 3.7% against a 35.6% decline of the industry.LabCorp reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $6.82, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 42.9%. Revenues of $4.06 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.LabCorp has an estimated long-term growth rate of 10.6%. LH surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 25.7%.Medpace reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $1.29, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 20.6%. Revenues of $295.57 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.2%.Medpace has an estimated long-term growth rate of 16.4%. MEDP surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 11.9%. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH): Free Stock Analysis Report CVS Health Corporation (CVS): Free Stock Analysis Report Chemed Corporation (CHE): Free Stock Analysis Report Medpace Holdings, Inc. (MEDP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 19th, 2021