Healthcare Stocks in Investing Spotlight as Earnings Analyzed

Coventry Health Care Inc. (NYSE:CVH) posted a decrease in profit as revenue declined. Net income for the health care plans company fell to $85.7 million (60 cents per share) vs. $150.3 million ($1.01 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 43% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell to $3.13 billion from the year earlier quarter. Coventry Health Care Inc. reported adjusted net income of 58 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of 64 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.09 billion.

“We spent much of 2011 focused on seizing growth opportunities for 2012 and beyond, and I am very pleased with the strong growth in Medicaid and Medicare as we enter the first quarter of 2012,” said Allen F. Wise, chairman and chief executive officer of Coventry. “As we wrap up 2011, we turn our focus towards 2012 with a forecast of double digit revenue growth coupled with operating earnings and EPS growth. We are hard at work to deliver on 2012 commitments while laying the foundation to seize opportunities for the future.”

Competitors to Watch: UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT), WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG), Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM), WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC), and Magellan Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGLN).

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:NBIX) posted a decrease in profit as revenue declined. Net income for the biotechnology company fell to $1.3 million (2 cents per share) vs. $2.5 million (4 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 46.5% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 18.6% to $11.1 million from the year earlier quarter. Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. beat the mean analyst estimate of one cent per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $12.1 million.

“During 2011, we maintained our financial discipline and performed to plan,” said Kevin C. Gorman, President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences. “From a scientific perspective we completed our first open-label Phase II study of our VMAT2 inhibitor, NBI-98854. We also opened the related IND for NBI-98854 in the United States, and recently completed enrollment in our placebo controlled double-blind Phase II study of VMAT2 which will read out later this quarter. Elagolix continued to move forward with our partner Abbott, starting a Phase II study in uterine fibroids, and more recently filing for an SPA with the FDA for endometriosis. Additionally, we have several novel compounds that were discovered by our research group during 2011 that we will continue to work on in 2012, with the goal of beginning the IND process on at least one of these novel compounds by year end.”

Competitors to Watch: GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Repligen Corporation (NASDAQ:RGEN), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), EntreMed, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENMD), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSPT), BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPAX), Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX), and Repros Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:RPRX).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com