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Healthcare M&A trumps weak earnings outlook

TheStreet, July 19, 2012

Disappointing near-term revenue and profit trends could take a back seat to optimism about Obamacare leading to mergers and acquisitions. The nation's top court upheld Obamacare in June, and on July 9 managed care giant WellPoint said it would buy Amerigroup, a managed care specialist focusing on Medicaid and Medicare plans, for $4.9 billion. That deal sparked speculation other sector giants, including Humana, Cigna, Aetna and UnitedHealth, would also look to make acquisitions. With a weak earnings outlook for healthcare providers as they brace for the impact of Obamacare, M&A is expected to be one of two key topics of discussion for CEOs.