Yesterday, I broke news of the FAANGs’ coming takeover rampage, and how you could mint a fortune as the “deal grease” starts flowing.
But the FAANGs aren’t the only ones flush with cash.
America’s largest health insurance companies — Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Anthem — are also printing money!
With collective profits of $10.3 billion through two quarters, a record-shattering year is afoot.
More favorable still…
Now that Obamacare has survived the GOP’s onslaught, the printing presses will run even hotter.
I suppose we should bless these despised health care providers with their own acronym…
Let’s go with something cringe-worthy, like “ACUHA.” (Sounds like a punch to the gut.)
But can you bury your hate for five minutes?
Let me explain…
ACUHA is about to go on a historic acquisition spree.
To fuel growth, its eyes are fixed upon certain microcaps.
Of course, when buyouts are made public, the announcement stands to “break” the charts of the smaller companies.
(The next chart to “break” could put upward of $100,048 into your pocket.)
Keep these “chartbreaking” opportunities in mind as you read our most appetizing takeover targets.
Ignore the Sob Story
Few industries get more hate from Americans than health insurance.
But the fact is, without them, many of us would go bankrupt paying off medical bills.
And while many insurers complain that Obamacare has made them unprofitable, their financial statements tell a different story…
Last quarter, America’s top six health insurers earned a combined $6 billion in profit, according to CNBC.
And according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data, that represents a 29% jump from the same period last year.
So don’t be fooled by their sob story.
Instead, do as they do. That is, keep an eye out for explosive companies with disruptive technology to buy up.
Here’s one such company leading the pack…
IRhythm Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: IRTC) is a health care company that’s changing the game for medical biosensors.
The company’s flagship product, Zio, is a continuous monitor patch that records weeks of a patient’s heartbeat data.
IRhythm’s patented machine-learning algorithms analyze the recorded data and compile the conclusions into a readable 15-page report for a patient’s doctor.
The goal: Diagnose heart arrhythmias faster and more accurately than traditional methods.
The less time it takes to diagnose the ailment, the faster a patient can be treated effectively.
And a swifter diagnosis can also result in lower medical costs for everyone involved.
Better still, because Zio’s software is powered by machine-learning… the larger iRhythm’s database gets, the smarter the algorithms get.
This innovative company just went public last December, and its stock has nearly doubled on surging sales since then.
It’s flush with cash with $110 million on the books and just $32 million in debt.
Best of all, with a market value of $1.1 billion, iRhythm is a cheap takeover target for virtually all of the health care giants.
(When a stock is marked for a takeover, 100% of the time the stock goes UP. Check out this special presentation for more information.)
Management Shakeup Greenlights Potential Takeover
With health care reform off the table for now, ACUHA companies can focus on expanding their network.
Now, the failure of the Republicans to cut back Obamacare makes it likely that future health care changes will focus on expanding service to currently uninsured or underinsured communities.
State subsidies to insurers covering these communities are likely to expand rapidly as the health care system attempts to serve them more cost-effectively.
That makes Molina Healthcare (NYSE: MOH) a prime takeover target for larger health care companies.
Molina was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Long Beach, California. The company offers clinic services with locations in 15 states. And it serves nearly 5 million patients.
The company also provides health care plans to individuals with state coverage. Molina focuses on the minority, immigrant and underserved communities that receive health care funding from Medicaid, Medicare and other government-funded sources.
Molina recently ran into profit problems, with losses of $230 million in the second quarter of 2017, after which it announced 1,500 layoffs. This resulted in the departure of founding family members Mario Molina as CEO and John Molina as CFO, who were regarded as the biggest barriers to a sale of the company.
With a market capitalization of $3.8 billion, a business focused on an attractive market — and not to mention management turmoil — Molina represents an excellent takeover opportunity for ACUHA companies seeking to expand into the state-subsidized health care market.
With revenue of $17.8 billion, four times its market value, Molina’s potential for a big “chartbreaker” deal is high.
Riches in Niches
Large, bureaucratic health insurers share a debilitating weakness…
That is, they’re not nimble enough to expand into underserved, yet highly profitable niche markets.
That doesn’t mean they’re locked out altogether. It just means they have to expand into these markets via acquisitions instead of organically.
Such a reality puts the $382 million market cap Independence Holding Co. (NYSE: IHC) firmly in the cross hairs.
Founded in 1980, the company makes a mint focusing on specialized health insurance products. Sales and profits for the first six months of the year hit $154.1 million and $19.3 million, respectively.
This is no accident, either.
As the company plainly reveals in SEC filings, “Our business strategy consists of maximizing underwriting profits through a variety of niche specialty health insurance, pet and group disability and life products and through distribution channels that enable us to access specialized or underserved markets in which we believe we have a competitive advantage.”
The company’s foothold in these highly profitable niches is so strong that large health insurers recently started reselling some of IHC’s products to share in the riches.
It’s only a matter of time before one of these insurers buys the company outright so it can reap all the rewards. To that end, IHC has been making all the right moves to up its takeover appeal.
In March 2016, it divested a valuable, but unrelated business segment. It then used the proceeds to pay off all its outstanding debt and aggressively invest in its fastest-growing product lines.
To top it off, the never-ending turmoil surrounding Obamacare plans supercharged demand for IHC’s products. Indeed, the company is expected to “report significantly higher earned premiums and income in this segment in 2018.”
Add it all up and the time is ripe for an acquirer to pounce while shares are still trading on the cheap.
At current prices, the stock sports a price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 13.6. That’s a staggering discount of 35–60% compared with large-cap health insurers like Cigna and Aetna. It certainly won’t last forever.
Even management knows it, as they recently repurchased over $42 million worth of stock.
Bottom line: I don’t expect Independence Holding Co. to maintain its independence much longer. Bet on it! And if I’m wrong, you’ll still be positioned to profit, as the company ranks as one of the cheapest and fastest-growing providers of specialty insurance products. (Click here to see another stock that’s destined for a takeover by Nov. 29.)
Ahead of the tape,
Chief Investment Strategist, Wall Street Daily