Health Care Stocks Head in Different Directions (WLP, THC)

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WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP) and Tenet Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: THC) both reported third-quarter 2012 earnings this morning. WellPoint is health care benefits company and Tenet is a hospital operator.

For the quarter, WellPoint posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.09 on revenues of $15.13 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.90 on revenues of $15.16 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.85 and $145.33 billion in revenues.

Tenet posted diluted EPS of $0.37 on revenues of $2.22 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.05 on revenues of $2.1 billion. Third-quarter results compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $0.34 and $2.24 billion in revenues.

WellPoint guided adjusted full-year 2012 EPS to a range of $7.37 to $7.47, compared with a consensus estimate of $7.37. On a GAAP basis, the company expects EPS of $7.30 to $7.40. The full-year revenue estimate of $60.7 billion is short of the consensus estimate of $61.12 billion, and that is probably what is hitting the share price this morning.

Tenet guided adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter to a range of $313 to $353 million and full-year EBITDA to a $1.2 billion, due to a delay in payments from the California Provider Fee program. That delay represents about $40 million which will Tenet expects to receive in the first quarter of 2013. Full-year EBITDA for 2013 is now forecast at $1.325 to $1.425 billion.

WellPoint's shares are down 3.7% in premarket trading this morning, at $58.90 in a 52-week range of $52.51 to $74.73. The consensus target price for the shares was around $69.20 before today's report.

Tenet's shares are up about 4.2% in premarket trading this morning, at $25.99 in a 52-week range of $16.20 to $26.96. The consensus target price for the shares was around $25.30 before today's report.

Paul Ausick


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Healthcare Tagged: THC, WLP
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