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Healthcare Stocks Extending Recent Gains; Centene Climbs Over 12% After Topping Q1 Earnings Expectations

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 4/22/2014 3:42:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: CNC;PFE

Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ +0.64%

PFE +1.07%

ABT +0.28%

MRK +1.75%

AMGN +2.19%

Healthcare stocks were broadly higher Tuesday with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index gaining 1.4% near the close and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 advancing over 1.5% as a group.

In company news, Centene ( CNC ) was holding on to a double-digit advance just ahead of the closing bell Tuesday after beating analyst estimates with its Q! results.

The Medicare-services provider reporting per-share net income of $0.57 per share during the three months ended March 31, besting the Capital IQ consensus by $0.12 per share. Revenue rose 31.9% year over year to $3.35 billion, exceeding expectations by around $100 million.

Looking to FY14 ending in December, CNC said it expects per-share earnings of between $3.60 and $3.90, in-line with the Street view anticipating $3.62 per share. Revenue is seen rising as much as 36% over the prior year to a range of $14.2 billion to $14.8 billion for the year, also bracketing the analyst consensus expecting around $14.58 billion in revenue this year.

CNC shares were up 12.3% at $64.33 each shortly before the closing bell, earlier climbing to a session high of $67.34, or just 50 cents off its 52-week high.

In other sector news,

(+) IMUC, Abstract describing Phase II trial of its ICT-107 dendritic cell-based cancer vaccine in newly diagnosed glioblastoma was accepted for oral presentation at the American Society for Clinical Oncology meeting in late May.

(-) AZN, Reportedly rebuffs a $100 billion takeover offer by Pfizer ( PFE ), giving back a portion of Monday's 8% advance. Neither company has confirmed the market rumors.