On Jun 25, 2014, shares of
) reached a new 52-week high of $129.14, after a series of positive
tidings for the company.
The stock gained 51.86% in the one-year period. Moreover, Humana's
year-to-date return of 24.92% was higher than the S&P 500's
return of 6.00% and that of the other industry players, with
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
) recording returns of 9.34%, 20.21% and 17.69% respectively.
Earlier this month, Humana entered into a new Accountable Care
agreement with one of the major academic health systems of the
nation, UC San Diego Health System. The agreement will help Humana
cater to the needs of the Medicare Advantage members in San Diego.
This news stimulated bullish sentiment on the stock, as the move
marked Humana's relentless effort to provide quality healthcare at
an affordable price to medical members.
Last month, the company has inked a deal with the University
General Health System, Inc. to enhance the services provided to
Humana's members in Houston. As per the deal, Humana's members will
be able to access University General Hospital's doctors and
services like inpatient, outpatient and emergency services. In
other words, the contract extends the in-network benefits to these
Hence, both the aforementioned deals were aimed to widen Humana's
range of services. Furthermore, the company at the same time was
ranked as the number one company in the athenahealth PayerView
Rankings this month, for its ease in doing business with providers.
Accolades like these enhance the goodwill of the company and thus,
boost customers' confidence in the stock.
Last month, Humana reported first-quarter 2014 earnings that
surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 21.13%. Notably, this
health and well-being company delivered positive earnings surprises
in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 5.25%.
Since the company reported first-quarter earnings, the Zacks
Consensus Estimate for 2014 increased 0.13% to $7.84 per share
while for 2015, it increased 0.34% to $8.85 per share.
Currently, Humana carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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