UPDATE: Bank of America Downgrades Humana to Neutral, Maintains $83 PO

In a report published Tuesday, Bank of America downgraded Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) from a Buy rating to Neutral, maintaining its price objective of $83.

Bank of America noted, "HUM provided initial 2013 EPS guidance of $7.60-$7.80, below our ests/cons as the company anticipates further investment spend next year. We view the 2013 guidance as realistic and think it should be achievable if HUM executes like it has historically. However, with the reelection of President Obama, the reimbursement outlook in 2014 and 2015 create significant headwinds during a time period where trend is not likely to be as modest as it has been over the past few years, reducing the company's margin for error. Given HUM's scale and track record, we believe that they will weather this storm better than most, but the company is already trading at 9.7x our new 2013 estimate (9.7x is its 3yr average multiple) and we see little reason to expect multiple expansion under a Democratic administration and as such, our new PO of $83 reflects 10x our new 2014 estimate. With the quarter, we are adjusting our 2012/13/14 ests to $7.48/$7.68/$8.29 from $7.18/$8.08/$8.44, cutting our PO to $83 from $89 and downgrading to a Neutral from a Buy rating."

Humana closed at $68.29 on Tuesday.

(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Tags: Bank of America

Posted in: Analyst Color, Downgrades, Analyst Ratings

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