Centene’s MA Gains Swell Stock, But Could Have Downside

Centene Corp.’s shares rose following its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 earnings release on Feb. 8, with the market seemingly impressed with the insurer’s Medicaid and Medicare Advantage membership gains. Still, one equities analyst sounded a note of skepticism about what large MA enrollment gains will mean for Centene’s margins.

“Outsized share gains in MA are typically a cautionary sign for margin,” Jefferies analyst David Windley wrote in a Feb. 8 note to investors. Centene’s management “is signaling flat ’22 MA margin, but is flat still optimistic with multiple competitors calling out CNC’s aggressive pricing?”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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