Conservative · Stocks to Consider and Updates

CVS Gets Pharmacy Contract

CVS Health insurer WellCare Health Plans said it would change its pharmacy benefit manager to CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS – $97.77) from UnitedHealth Corp’s Optum Rx, effective Jan. 1. About 3.8 million WellCare members enrolled under its Medicaid, Medicare and prescription drug plans will be able to access CVS’ pharmacy network. Pharmacy benefit managers administer health plans and run large mail order pharmacies, helping insurers get better prices from drug makers. CVS is the second-largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager after Express Scripts and the No. 2 drugstore chain after Walgreen-Boots. I remain a proponent of CVS Health, which should generate gains that better the broader-market averages over the coming six to 12 months and a recent pullback in price bolsters its three to five-year appreciation potential. The picture gets even brighter on a risk-adjusted basis, given CVS’ top ranking for safety, well-below-average beta coefficient of .85 and strong cash flow generation. Management’s penchant for rewarding shareholders with above average dividend increases and share buybacks, also sweeten the pot.


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