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Health Care Roundup: Market Talk

10 Oct 2017 8:20 am

The latest Market Talks covering the Health Care sector. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires at 4:20 ET, 12:20 ET and 16:50 ET.

0120 GMT - Citi expects Primary Health Care to set an FY profit target at next month's annual meeting, and it anticipates the forecast to favor stock bears. Consensus is at A$97 million ($75.5 million), but Citi thinks A$93 million is more realistic amid structural challenges faced by Primary's Medical Centres arm and rising costs at its pathology collection centers. Then there's the looming start-of-2018 loss of a high-margin cancer-screening which made up 5% of FY17 earnings. That hit isn't reflected in "more-optimistic consensus" views, contends Citi, which remains neutral on the stock while dropping its price target 11% to A$3.30. Primary falls 1.6% to A$3.15, erasing most of yesterday's bounce. It's down 15% since early June.(david.winning@wsj.com; @dwinningWSJ)

1911 GMT - Wells Fargo upgrades Johnson & Johnson, citing signs the health-products company has overcome the sluggish sales of the first half of the year. Wells Fargo raises its 3Q sales estimates by $103M to $19.4B, and its target price for J&J by $9 to $149 due to auspicious signs in the company's outlook, including top-selling product Remicade's better-than-expected performance against biosimilar competition. Wells Fargo also says J&J will benefit from accretion following the purchase of the Actelion rare-disease drugs business, the incorporation of Actelion and other acquisitions into results and easier year-to-year comparisons for the consumer-health division. (jonathan.rockoff@wsj.com; @jonathanrockoff)

1635 GMT - DaVita is the biggest loser in the S&P 500 after JPMorgan cuts its shares to underweight from neutral on continued concern about the amount of profits it makes in connection with the American Kidney Fund which provides assistance paying insurance premiums of needy patients. JPMorgan advises caution without more clarity about the ongoing legal battle between insurance companies, dialysis providers and the American Kidney Fund. Davita is off 8% today and 15% YTD, while smaller dialysis services provider American Renal Associates is off 33% YTD on worries about a possible Justice Department investigation. (patrick.sheridan@wsj.com)

1019 GMT - The recent National Comprehensive Cancer Network guideline update to expand the use of AstraZeneca's Imfinzi and Tagrisso lung cancer drugs should boost fourth-quarter sales of both medicines. The endorsement of the NCCN, a network of around 30 major cancer centers in the U.S., typically means that insurers will to pay for the application in question, even if it is not included on the FDA label. Still, UBS's Jack Sannell says that the NCCN update is unlikely to move the needle in the long term, as the FDA was widely expected to update the drug labels to include the expanded uses anyway. AstraZeneca shares last trade flat at GBP51.53. (denise.roland@wsj.com ; @deniseroland)

1014 GMT - The benchmark stock index in Thailand falls Monday on profit taking, after the market's recent strength. The SET Index had briefly breached the 1700-point mark for the first time in about 24 years Friday, but trading was relatively subdued Monday. The index closed 0.2% lower at 1692.22. Among prominent gainers, Airports of Thailand gained 2.2% while Bangkok Dusit Medical Services was up 2%. Losers included Advanced Info Service, Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank, each with a 0.3% fall. (gaurav.raghuvanshi@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 10, 2017 04:20 ET (08:20 GMT)

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