CVS to buy Aetna for $77 billion

Aetna sold for $275 per share in cash and stocks

CVS offers $275 per share for Aetna.  

VS Health (CVS) and Aetna (AET) announced the execution of a definitive merger agreement under which CVS Health will acquire all outstanding shares of Aetna for a combination of cash and stock.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Aetna shareholders will receive $145 per share in cash and 0.8378 CVS Health shares for each Aetna share. The transaction values Aetna at approximately $207 per share or approximately $69B. Including the assumption of Aetna’s debt, the total value of the transaction is $77B.

If approved, the mega-merger would create a giant consumer health care company with a familiar presence in thousands of communities. Aetna chief executive Mark T. Bertolini described the vision in an interview as “creating a new front door for health care in America.”

CVS would provide a broad range of health services to Aetna’s 22 million medical members at its nationwide network of pharmacies and walk-in clinics, and further decrease the drug store titan’s reliance on the retail sales that have faced increasing competition.

“You can imagine a world where health care is better designed around the people who use it, which is one of the challenges we have today,” CVS chief executive Larry J. Merlo said in an interview. As part of the deal, Bertolini would join the CVS board and Aetna would be run as a standalone business unit.

The deal is likely to set off even more mergers in the health-care industry, which has been undergoing consolidation and faces potential new competition from Amazon.

It could position Aetna to be more competitive with UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, which has already expanded  beyond its core business into pharmacy care services, clinics and surgery care centers and health care data.

CVS closed at $75.12. AET closed at $181.31.


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Barron’s is bullish on Salesforce.com

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin
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BULLISH  MENTIONS

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) could rise further – In a follow-up story, Barron’s notes that Johnson & Johnson’s shares had a blockbuster year, as concerns about its big rheumatoid-arthritis drug Remicade proved too pessimistic, but shares could rise almost 20% as investors view the company’s drug pipeline in a new light.

Companies trading mostly in U.S. to benefit from tax reform – Investors in companies that trade mostly in the U.S. such as Southwest Airlines (LUV) should benefit greatly from what is arguably the signature provision of the tax reform bill, namely a drop in the federal corporate tax rate, John Kimelman writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Tech giants such as Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL) should experience a huge windfall from the legislation’s provision that could set the rate on the taxes of foreign earnings held in cash as low as 10%, thus encouraging repatriation, he says.

Transfer Partners situation to be resolved by 2019/2020 – Master limited partnerships have been dogged for the past several years by investor concerns, with Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) being one of the worst-performing large MLPs, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Its unit price has tumbled since the merger with Sunoco Logistics, even as the units of its sister company, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) have held steady, he adds. The endgame probably will be a merger of the two companies, or an equity buyout of the IDRs by Energy Transfer Partners, Barron’s contends.

Start-ups dwelling in tech giants shadow – Tech giants such as Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL) and Apple (AAPL) show no signs of slowing down, increasingly calling the shots in tech in a way that limits the scope within which small companies operate, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While many start-ups show promise but “dwell in the shadow of the giants,” he adds. Commenting on recent IPOs, Barron’s notes that while Appian (APPN) and Roku (ROKU) have surged 39% and $85% respectively, cloud-computing darlings Mulesoft (MULE) and Tintri (TNTR) are down since their debuts.

Wall Street about to join in Bitcoin fun – Bitcoin shot past $11,000 last week but slid sharply right after before surging yet again, Avi Salzman writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Now Wall Street is about to join in the fun, he notes, adding that getting listed on some of the largest exchanges in the country is a “tectonic shift for Bitcoin.” Banks like Goldman Sachs (GS) are considering helping clients execute Bitcoin trades, and once “they dip their toes in,” there may be no turning back, Salzman contends.

 Salesforce.com has 25% upside – As Salesforce (CRM) launches new products, its “addressable market” expands, which means more opportunities for sales and potentially wider margins, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The company’s shares should continue to outperform as revenue rises and margins improve, and a 25% increase in 2018 to $130 seems achievable, he adds.


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This article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.