Healthcare Business

UBS Makes August Changes to Equity Focus List Portfolio

With the dog days of summer upon us, and the market starting to really slow down, some Wall Street firms are making the last changes for the third quarter recommendations to institutional and high net worth clients. In a new report, UBS made changes in the firm’s Equity Focus list and updated other positions.

The UBS Equity Focus list employs what they call the firm’s house view, fundamentals, technicals, thematics and quantitative work to determine the stocks that are put into the portfolio. Changes are made on a regular basis as market action and pricing dictates.

McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) is removed from the UBS list this month. After an outstanding start to the year, the stock started to roll over in May. The UBS team cites a deceleration in generic drug pricing in the second quarter and the company’s uncertainty about pricing in the near term as the main reason for their concern over the growth prospects for the company. Shares closed Monday at $223.48.

A top new health care company is added into the portfolio, and we also review the other three health care stocks that are in the Equity Focus list.

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Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC) is added to the list and posted very strong second-quarter earnings for shareholders. The company is a leading multiline health care enterprise that provides programs and services to government sponsored health care programs, focusing on underinsured and uninsured individuals. The UBS team sees the stock as a pure-play Medicaid managed care organization with a solid growth outlook driven by geographic expansion, health care reform and managed care penetration of Medicaid. The analysts like the stock despite the solid move this year.

The UBS price target for the stock is $90. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is $93.22. Shares closed most recently at $70.97.