MIAMI— Federal officials have capped the amount of money scofflaws will be forced to pay if they don't buy insurance this year at $2,448 per person and $12,240 for a family of five. The penalty for the first year starts at $95 per adult or $47.50 per child under 18, and it can rise to as much as 1 percent of annual household income.» Read More
AXA Europe's second-biggest insurer, reported lower first-half net profit on Thursday although the earnings came in above the average market forecast and AXA said it needed no capital increase.
Stocks opened lower, clipped by a quartet of dismal news: a rise in jobless claims, oil's resurgence, Wal-Mart's sales miss and AIG's wider-than-expected loss. But a better-than-expected report on home sales helped shave a few points off the decline.
Stock futures fell further after a report showed jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week. Futures had already been pointing lower as oil rose nearly $3 a barrel, Wal-Mart missed sales estimates and Dow component AIG posted a wider-than-expected loss.
Europe's biggest insurer Allianz abandoned its profit targets and said on Wednesday new guidance was impossible given financial market turmoil that kept its Dresdner Bank firmly in the red in the second quarter.
American International Group reported a quarterly loss of 51 cents a share, falling far short of analysts' estimates, which had projected a profit for the company.
Bond insurer Ambac Financial reported sharply higher quarterly net income on Wednesday on valuation gains on some securities, sending its shares up more than 12 percent in early trading.
Health insurer Humana posted quarterly profit that beat estimates and lifted its 2008 forecast on Monday on better-than-expected results for its Medicare prescription drug plans for seniors, sending shares more than 4 percent higher.
Health insurer Cigna posted better-than-expected quarterly profit Friday, helped by its Great West acquisition and operating expense controls, but cut the outlook for its main health-care segment.
European earnings were mixed Thursday, with telecoms reporting results in line or above forecasts, while energy companies and financials posted profit declines or figures below market expectations.
German reinsurer Munich Re issued a profit warning on Friday, saying turmoil in global markets would hurt its second-quarter profit and result in a lower than forecast profit for the year as a whole.
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More than ten years after Pfizer brought Viagra to market and brought erectile dysfunction out of the closet a new survey says a lot of men are still too embarrassed to talk about impotence with their doctor.
Big pharma makes strange bedfellows. Pfizer, Merck and Eli Lilly this morning announced they've launched a joint venture of sorts called, "Enlight Biosciences". They're doing it with the help of the Boston-based VC firm PureTech Ventures.
Warren Buffett's reputation as a technophobe may be cracking. Today he told CNBC he'll "probably" get an Amazon Kindle as he "edges" into the 21st century. See the video clip and read the transcript of Julia Boorstin's Sun Valley conversation with Buffett about technology, the economy, Berkshire's stock slide, and Barack Obama's chances in November.
Insurance Australia Group, Australia's top home and car insurer, announced a partial exit from its struggling UK operations, taking a charge of $333 million in fiscal 2008.
The state of Florida has reluctantly agreed to pay Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway $224 million now, in exchange for a promise it will be able to borrow $4 billion from Berkshire later, if the state gets severely slammed by hurricanes this year.
Aetna shares dropped 5 percent and Health Net tumbled 10 percent after a Goldman Sachs analyst slapped "sell" ratings on the two health insurers' stocks Thursday.
Ping An Insurance on Thursday denied rumors that it was facing problems related to a tax audit, after its shares in both Hong Kong and Shanghai tumbled 10 percent the previous day.
In the world of nearly 400 publicly-traded biotechs, analyst coverage is especially important. Many of the firms are micro caps and when an analyst initiates coverage it can help put a baby biotech on investor and reporter radar screens.
UnitedHealth Group on Wednesday slashed its full-year earnings outlook because of tough competition in the health benefits business and said it would pay more than $900 million to settle lawsuits related to past stock options practices.
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