Healthcare Stocks Dragged Lower by Biotechs; Wellcare Health Said To Be Potential Buyout Target

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Healthcare stocks were mixed today, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down about 0.4% while shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 were ahead less than 0.1% as a group.

In company news, WellCare Health Plans' ( WCG ) shares were lower Friday, apparently dismissing speculation today on a financial blog that the provider of managed-care services is being eyed as a takeover target by U.S. health insurance companies.

According to Betaville123 website, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the matter, Wellpoint Inc ( WLP ) has been working with investment bankers on a possible acquisition of WCG. The story said WCG could sell for as much as $4 billion.

WCG shares were down nearly 5% at $63.62 in recent trade, falling as low as $63.01 during today's session. The stock has 52-week range of $50.41 and $75.31, climbing less than 2% over the past year.

WLP was little changed in mid-day trading, sliding 0.3% to $95.47 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) SPNC, (+2.8%) Receives Food and Drug Administration clearance of two new mechanical lead extraction platforms expanding physicians' options for the safe removal of cardiac leads.

(-) VAR, (-0.4%) Settles patent dispute with University of Pittsburgh, agreeing to pay around $35 mln, which will be recorded in the company's Q2 and Q3 financial results.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: WCG , WLP

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