Medical

Health insurer Cigna to buy Express Scripts for US$52 bln

Health insurer Cigna to buy Express Scripts for US$52 bln

CVS, Express Scripts and UnitedHealth control more than two-thirds of the PBM market, a top USA health official said on Wednesday. The fund purchased 3,069 shares of the company's stock, valued at approximately $229,000.

Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts jumped 8.6 percent after agreeing to be bought by health insurer Cigna. The firm's quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter previous year. It could also increase leverage in price negotiations with drug makers. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. bought a new stake in Express Scripts during the 4th quarter valued at $128,000. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 29,620 shares of the company's stock valued at $1,876,000 after acquiring an additional 3,506 shares during the last quarter. Smith Moore & CO. now owns 16,440 shares of the company's stock valued at $1,041,000 after acquiring an additional 4,690 shares during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp grew its stake in shares of Express Scripts by 5.1% in the third quarter. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 33,715 shares of the company's stock, valued at $2,730,915.

The combination of Cigna and Express Scripts is the latest in a string of mergers between nontraditional health care partners looking to disrupt the industry. The company has a market capitalization of $42,190.58, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 0.94.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,570. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on shares of Express Scripts in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Leerink Swann analyst D. Larsen now forecasts that the company will post earnings of $1.75 per share for the quarter, down from their prior estimate of $1.86. Express Scripts' 2017 revenue totaled $100.1 billion, while its profit was $4.5 billion. The business had revenue of $25.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $25.07 billion. In the last quarter, insiders sold 21,896 shares of company stock worth $1,617,903. Cigna and Express Scripts are embroiled in separate litigation involving Anthem.

The merger will consist of $48.75 in cash and 0.24 shares of stock of the combined company per Express Scripts share. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.00, for a total value of $262,048.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.26, for a total value of $368,397.70. Institutional investors own 87.70% of the company's stock.




A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock.

The PBM model has drawn criticism from patients, government officials, and pharmaceutical companies, some of whom have suggested that Express Scripts may be "profiting from higher drug prices by keeping a percentage for themselves", according to a New York Times report. Barclays initiated coverage on shares of Express Scripts in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $91.00 price objective on Express Scripts and gave the stock a "buy" rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 28th. SunTrust Banks set a $86.00 target price on Express Scripts and gave the stock a "buy" rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. TheStreet raised Express Scripts from a "c+" rating to a "b-" rating in a report on Monday, December 4th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company's stock. Express Scripts has an average rating of "Hold" and a consensus target price of $80.91.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: "JOYN Advisors Inc". Alpha Windward LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Express Scripts by 35.9% during the 4th quarter.

In another alliance of an insurer and a health care company, Cigna said Thursday it would acquire Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager, for about $54 billion.

It's anyone's guess what strategy Walgreens will take, but one thing is clear: The market Walgreens operates within is changing, and it'll need to do something to keep up.


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