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Health insurer shares a buy for the patient-Barron's

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MWM Member Level  Monday, 10/26/09 08:52:06 AM
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Health insurer shares a buy for the patient-Barron's
Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:53pm EDT

NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Shares of health insurers have languished since the summer and could be a good buy for the patient, and the brave, according to a report in the Oct. 26 edition of Barron's.
The financial newspaper said that the five major stocks in the sector -- including UnitedHealth Group (UNH.N), WellPoint (WLP.N), Humana (HUM.N), Aetna (AET.N) and Cigna (CI.N) - all are trading at historically low price-to-earnings ratios.

The group has suffered because of concerns about health insurance overhaul but their stocks already discount a dire scenario, Barron's said.

It pointed to Cigna and Aetna as the two safest choices because they get the lowest percentage of revenue from the sectors most threatened by legislative reform. UnitedHealth and WellPoint get more of their profits from those sectors.

Humana gets 70 percent of its profits from Medicare Advantage, which puts it at high risk, Barron's said, citing Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Borsch. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Diane Craft)


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