May 2, 2012
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Triple-S Management (NYSE: GTS ) , a managed-care company operating in Puerto Rico, dove 15% this morning following first-quarter results.
So what: For the quarter, Triple-S reported total revenue of $589.8 million and a profit of $0.26. Relative to what Wall Street was expecting, its numbers were slightly higher on revenue ($577.3 million), but a far cry from the $0.43 profit analysts were looking for. The company's management cited its American Health business as the primary reason for the shortfall, saying it was negatively affected by lower-than-expected premiums and increased utilization.
Now what: Higher expenses and weakening premiums seem to be a disturbing trend for many managed-care companies that depend on Medicaid for part of their funding. Although management remains optimistic that Triple-S remains on the right track, that didn't stop them from lowering full-year EPS guidance to a range of $1.80-$1.85 when the Street had been looking for $2.33 in EPS. With many questions left unanswered, I'm steering clear of Triple-S for the time being.
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