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Molina Healthcare Appoints CEO: Will New Leadership Help?

Zacks

Molina Healthcare, Inc. MOH has appointed Joseph M. Zubretsky as its new president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective Nov 6, 2017.

Zubretsky has to his credit a career spanning 35 years in the insurance and financial services industry. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of The Hanover Insurance Group and was a member of its board.

Until recently, Molina Healthcare was run by the two sons of its founders — J. Mario Molina and John Molina. Both were, however, ousted following the company’s poor performance.

The appointment of the new CEO is one of the steps taken in the massive restructuring exercise undertaken by management to take the company back to profitability.

In the second quarter, the company’s 2017 earnings guidance was withdrawn due to uncertainty regarding cost sharing reductions, cost trend in Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico, health plans and variability around timing of benefits and costs related to the restructuring plan.

Molina Healthcare’s share price has returned 9.1% since the removal of the Molina brothers compared with the growth of 11.5% by the industry it belongs to.



Other restructuring and profitability improvement steps include reduction in corporate and health plans workforce by 10%, termination of public exchange participation in Utah and Wisconsin with additional states in review, and restructuring of Direct delivery operations.

These measures are aimed at generating $300-$400 million in savings upon completion of restructuring in late 2018. The company expects nearly $200 million in savings related to staff reductions to fully contribute to 2018 earnings. The company expects an additional $130-$150 million restructuring cost in the second half of 2017.

Zubretsky, with his valuable experience is deemed as the perfect fit to lead the company successfully during this transformative period. He boasts a track of strong leadership across multiple businesses, both inside and outside managed care. He also successfully restructured other organizations earlier.

The transformation of the entire enterprise into a leaner, more streamlined organization, will enhance decision-making, improve the company’s operating performance, and aid its margins. Though the seeds of reformation have been planted, these will take time to bear fruit.

Molina Healthcare carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Anthem Inc. ANTM, Humana Inc. HUM and Centene Corp. CNC. While Humana and Centene sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) each, Anthem carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Centene beat estimates in three of the last four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 7.7%. Also, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 have been raised 3.4% and 1.3%, respectively, over the last 90 days.

Humana beat estimates in each of the last four quarters with an average positive surprise of 7.2%. Also, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 have gone up 4.1% and 1.4%, respectively, in the last 90 days.

Anthem beat estimates in three of the last four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 8.6%. Also, the stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 being revised 0.7% and 0.3% upward, respectively, over the last 90 days.

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