Barring a change to a single-payor health care system in the U.S., which would eliminate insurance companies, our nationâ¿¿s top HMOs will continue to run quite profitability. After digesting the ramifications of the current Affordable Care Act, Wall Street analysts are forecasting that insurersâ¿¿ profit margins will stay near historical levels. In fact, Humana (HUM) was just given a set of bonus payments from Medicare for delivering healthcare outcomes that exceeded mandated standards. The firm could become one of the biggest beneficiaries of the healthcare overhaul.
Humana is already a cash cow, generating an average of $1.1 billion in free cash flow over the past five years. Trying to compare that to enterprise value leads to an absurdly high free cash flow yield, since Humana is worth less than $1 billion when net cash is excluded from the market value. With ongoing robust free cash flow, Humanaâ¿¿s net cash may soon exceed its entire market value.
NetAppAnalysts have viewed NetApp (NTAP) as one of the top-performing data storage companies in the tech field for years. Yet with growth expected to slow to just 5%, to $6.4 billion, in fiscal 2013, few continue to see this as a hot stock. If the top line doesnâ¿¿t merit much attention anymore, at least the bottom line should. NetApp is on track to exceed $1 billion in free cash flow for the third straight year (and has averaged $900 million in free cash flow over the past five years). Meanwhile, back out the $4.2 billion net cash balance, and NetApp is valued at just $6 billion. That works out to a free cash flow yield of 15%. Whatâ¿¿s the company doing with all that cash and free cash flow? Very little. NetApp doesnâ¿¿t pay a dividend and has had just a few small stock buybacks in recent years. This stock has fallen from $46 this past spring to a recent $28, and should management want to call attention to this lagging stock, then itâ¿¿s time to put all that cash to work in terms of a juicy dividend, a hefty buyback, or a bold acquisition.
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