Merger speculation picks up after Humana goes quiet

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Shares of Humana rose 2.4 percent Monday after the Louisville, Ky.-based health insurer announced it was entering into a so-called "quiet period," according to The Wall Street Journal.

The announcement was made in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing states the "quiet period" will last until Humana reports its earnings July 29.

In its SEC filing, the health insurer explained it has received questions from analysts and investors about "industry consolidation," according to the report. There have been whispers of Humana possibly being acquired by a competing health insurer for weeks, and last week The Wall Street Journal reported people familiar with the matter confirmed Humana has engaged in preliminary discussions with at least two major payers — Aetna and Cigna.

"It is the company's long-standing policy not to comment on rumors or speculation regarding possible merger activity," Humana stated in the filing, according to the report.

A healthcare stock analyst at Leering Partners, Ana Gupte, told The Wall Street Journal, "We conclude from this news that merger talks are ongoing…[and] the talks will likely culminate in a deal."

More articles on payer issues:

Blue Cross parent posts $281.9M loss in first year of PPACA exchanges
Many insurers seek double-digit rate hikes for 2016: 6 things to know
Competing health insurers show interest in taking over Humana: 3 key points

 

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