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

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 4/11/2014 1:08:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: WCG;WLP

Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ +0.22%

PFE -1.37%

ABT +0.36%

MRK +0.65%

AMGN +0.58%

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.