Healthcare Changed Before Obamacare Supreme Court Ruling
Meanwhile, Credit Suisse analyst Charles Boorady upgraded Cigna to outperform from neutral on Friday, on the prospect that it sells or outsources its legacy pharmacy business to a fast-growing player like SXC or CVS Caremark, after acquiring Healthspring last October. Boorady expects that Cigna is most likely to cut an outsourcing deal for its pharmacy unit, in a deal that may mirror CVS's arrangement with Aetna, which could add 39 cents or nearly 7% to 2013 earnings per share.
After Walgreens near 10% share tumble in 2012, investors may want to question whether the company's international growth strategy has been underestimated, amid rapid change in the U.S. Were prescription contracts to hold in core European countries to hold, and expected top and bottom line synergies to pan out, there are some who argue that Walgreens has snapped up a best of breed growth asset.
For those who would rather play the SCOTUS decision sweepstakes in healthcare, they may do well to target diversified providers like Aetna, Cigna and Coventry over Medicaid HMO based companies like Amerigroup, Molina and Centene.
Some estimate that between 16 million to 20 million new Americans would be eligible to enroll in Medicaid if the Supreme Court upholds Obamacare. If Obamacare as a whole gets thrown out, Medicaid HMOs would lose a large revenue opportunity they had expected to begin in 2014.
For more on investing in drug stores and pharmacy giants see Express Scripts could be sandbagging synergies in its mega-deal for Medco Health Solutions.
-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York