UnitedHealth Among These Healthcare Stocks Falling Following Earnings Reports

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for the health care plans company rose to $1.26 billion ($1.17 per share) vs. $1.04 billion (94 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 20.6% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue Rose 7.8% to $25.92 billion from the year earlier quarter. UNH beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.02 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $25.7 billion.

Stephen J. Hemsley, president and chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group, said, “In 2012, we are committed to further elevating our performance and overall value to the people and markets we are privileged to serve, strengthening relationships across the health care landscape and accelerating innovation.”

Competitors to Watch: Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT), Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG), Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM), Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC), and HealthSpring, Inc (NYSE:HS).

Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for Intuitive Surgical Inc. rose to $151.2 million ($3.75 per share) vs. $121.2 million ($3.02 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 24.8% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 27.6% to $496.8 million from the year earlier quarter. ISRG beat the mean analyst estimate of $3.34 per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $483.7 million.

“We ended fiscal 2011 with $2,172 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments, reflecting an increase of $563 million during the year, net of $332 million used to repurchase 963,000 shares of common stock. Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Gary Guthart, President and CEO of Intuitive Surgical, said, “We are pleased with our fourth quarter performance. These results reflect continued da Vinci procedure adoption, highlighted by strong growth in our US gynecology business, and a focus on execution by our commercial and product operations teams.”

Competitors to Watch: Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK), Bovie Medical Corporation (AMEX:BVX), Synovis Life Tech., Inc. (NASDAQ:SYNO), CryoLife, Inc. (NYSE:CRY), Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN), Vision-Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSCI), CONMED Corporation (NASDAQ:CNMD) and The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO).

Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CBST) in the fourth quarter as profit dropped from a year earlier. Net income for the pharmaceutical company fell to $6.8 million (11 cents per share) vs. $14.6 million (24 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 53.1% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 31.6% to $212.9 million from the year earlier quarter. CBST reported adjusted net income of 66 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 29 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $204.7 million.

“With revenue growth of 32% in the fourth quarter and 18% for 2011, we enter 2012 with very strong momentum,” said Michael Bonney, President and CEO of Cubist. “On all fronts, from our strong commercial model to R&D to business development, we have bolstered our position as one of the world’s leading acute care companies.”

Competitors to Watch: Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPTR), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NASDAQ:TEVA), Theravance, Inc. (NASDAQ:THRX), MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MBRKQ), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS), The Medicines Company (NASDAQ:MDCO), Insite Vision Inc. (INSV), and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT).