Stock Summary: UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH); Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) And Gerdau SA (ADR) (NYSE:GGB)

UHGBoston, MA, 02/25/2014  (usastockreport) – UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) was on a rise yesterday after the government’s proposed Medicare rate cuts did not turn out as bad as perceived. On Friday, the U.S. government recommended a 3.55% cut in 2015 base payment rates for Medicare Advantage program for senior citizens. The recommendation is subject to further negotiations and a final call is expected in April. An analyst at Susquehanna said that the rate cut will have significant impact over the companies, but the rate cut is still better than thought of. According to Goldman Sachs, Medicare contributed to  30% of earnings in the previous year and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) is one of the biggest players in the Advantage program.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s subsidiary MSD as entered into an exclusive license agreement with Nuevolution A/S on Friday. The agreement will allow Merck to gain access to the further development and commercialization of Nuevolution’s small molecule compounds. Nuevolution, in exchange, will receive an undisclosed upfront payout from Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) as well as other milestone payments on achievement of certain  specified commercial milestones. On top of it, Nuevolution will also be eligible for royalty payments on the commercial sales of the approved products. The agreement is the second such deal between the two companies.

Gerdau SA (ADR) (NYSE:GGB) came up with an impressive fourth-quarter numbers on Friday. The net income of the steel manufacturer rose 244.1% in the past one year to $216.6 million (R$491.6 million). For the complete year 2013, the company’s net income increased 13.2$% over a year to $787.8 million (R$1,693.7 million). Gerdau’s revenue too went up by 14.8% to $4,546.7 million. Gerdau SA (ADR) (NYSE:GGB)’s Brazilian business fetched 38.6% of the net revenue, followed by North America and Latin America with 30.1% and 14.2% of revenue respectively. Special Steel segment revenue grew 19.3% as against the last year and contributed nearly 19.8% of net revenue.

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