Healthcare sector earnings are underway and thus far overall earnings have been robust overall with pockets of softness. From the health insurer side, UnitedHealth (UNH) beat on both EPS and revenue with revenue coming in at a 9.4% year-over-year growth. From the pharmaceutical supply chain, Cardinal Health (CAH) beat on EPS, missed on revenue and disappointed investors when they offered a softer outlook for fiscal 2017 and 2018. This set off a sell-off in the pharmaceutical supply chain stocks. In the biotech space, AbbVie (ABBV) beat on both EPS and revenue with revenue coming in at 9.7% year-over-year growth, Celgene (CELG) beat on EPS and missed on revenue, however revenue came in at a 17.9% increase year-over-year, Regeneron (REGN) missed on EPS, but beat on revenue with a 10% year-over-year growth, Amgen (AMGN) beat on EPS however missed on revenue with a year-over-year decline of 1.3%. In the pharmacy and PBM side, CVS Health (CVS) beat on both EPS and revenue with a 3.0% year-over-year increase and Walgreens (WBA) met EPS and missed on revenue with a year-over-year decline of 2.4%. As Q1 comes to a close, it appears the healthcare cohort has some softness in the pharmacy and pharmaceutical supply chain spaces however biotech and health insurers have posted robust revenue growth.
The proposed Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) deal continues to be drawn out and increasingly tumultuous between the companies involved and federal regulators. Recently, Rite Aid and Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) shares dropped amid talk the Federal Trade Commission is leaning towards filing a lawsuit seeking to block Walgreens' planned acquisition of Rite Aid. In December of 2016, the companies announced an agreement to sell 865 stores to Fred’s for $950 million in cash. Earlier this year, Walgreens and Rite Aid agreed to divest more stores, boosting the number to 1,200 and to reduce their merger price.
Ever since President Trump met with a group of pharmaceutical executives at the White House, the entire biotech cohort has witnessed a resurgence as of late. This meeting was perceived as a positive interaction between the nascent government and the industry on a whole. This coincides with a consortium of big pharma companies joining forces to address transparency on drug price increases. Allergan (AGN), J&J (JNJ), Novo Nordisk (NVO), Merck (MRK) and AbbVie (ABBV) have committed to limiting any annual drug pricing increases to less than 10%. J&J, AbbVie and Merck all published annual reports regarding its portfolio and the price increases they’ve implemented. This transparency coalition is a step in the right direction to appease the general public and governmental officials that have been very critical of drug price increases. To add icing on the cake, Amgen’s CEO stated “We look forward to working collaboratively with the new administration.” Pharmaceutical executives are being proactive to be part of the conversation and be present at the table when it comes to working with Trump and his hardline stance regarding jobs and drug prices. The collaborative approach will hopefully bode well for the industry as a healthy relationship is fostered perceived on Wall Street.
President Trump met with a group of pharmaceutical executives at the White House where he voiced his concerns over their pricing, stating that pricing “has been astronomical.” In the same meeting, President Trump said “You folks have done a very great job over the years,” and “but we have to get the prices down.” In a separate press conference, Trump said that big pharma was “getting away with murder”. Big pharma companies are joining forces as of late to address the price increases that the public and governmental officials have been demanding. Allergan (AGN), J&J (JNJ), Novo Nordisk (NVO) and AbbVie (ABBV) have committed to limiting any annual drug pricing increases to less than 10%. J&J went further stating that they will be publishing an annual report regarding its portfolio and the price increases they’ve implemented. AbbVie released data on its increases as well stating that Humira was increased by 8.4% with an only once annual increase moving forward. Merck (MRK) becomes the latest pharma to join this drug pricing transparency coalition. Merck raised list prices by an average of 9.6% with an average net price increase of 5.5%. This transparency is a step in the right direction to appease the general public and governmental officials.
Figure 1 - President Trump met with pharmaceutical industry leaders at the White House on Tuesday. From left are PhRMA President Stephen Ubl, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, Trump, Celgene CEO Robert Hugin and Amgen CEO Robert Bradway. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
Johnson & Johnson and McKesson make a big splash in merger and acquisition activity, courts block Humana/Aetna merger and Allergan and Endo sued by FTC. The healthcare cohort has witnessed several key events in the face of a political backdrop that’s put the entire industry on edge. The overall healthcare umbrella has become sensitive to any tweet from President Trump as he vows to bring down drug prices. As he pursues his crusade against drug pricing, much of these threats may have already been priced-in as seen in many healthcare-related stocks (i.e. McKesson, CVS, ABBV and AGN) that have seen sharp and sustained sell-offs that coincide with the 2017 presidential campaign cycle.
You are now leaving a Magnifi Communities’ website and are going to a website
that is not operated by Magnifi Communities. This website is operated by Magnifi
LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser affiliated with Magnifi Communities.
Magnifi Communities does not endorse this website, its sponsor, or any of the
policies, activities, products, or services offered on the site. We are not
responsible for the content or availability of linked site.