Shares of Pharmacy Benefit Managers Cheer Trump Presidency, Though Uncertainty Remains

Despite the shock of Donald Trump's election to be the 45th U.S. president, shares of pharmacy benefit managers were rallying on Wednesday as fears of a crackdown on drug prices abated.

"The PBMs were getting squeezed a few weeks ago. A Trump win relieves some pressure on them," JPMorgan analyst Nadia Lovell said. "It's very unlikely that you see some pricing reforms."

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton repeatedly promised to go after companies that drastically increased drug prices, while Trump took a more muted stance on the pricing controversy.

Clinton indicated that she would fine drug companies that unjustly raised prices and cap out-of-pocket costs paid by patients for expensive treatments. Wall Street's reaction was largely negative, with drug stocks falling last September when she tweeted about "price gouging" within the sector.

Following Trump's victory, more than 80% of health care investors believe that major drug price reforms will no longer occur, according an Evercore ISI survey.

A defeat to California's Prop 61, which would have limited the amount that states pay for prescription drugs, is also benefiting drug stocks today.

Shares of Express Scripts (ESRX) , CVS Health (CVS) , Rite Aid (RAD) and Action Alerts PLUS holding Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) were all rallying Wednesday afternoon.

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Bank of America/Merrill Lynch called out CVS stock in particular as a beneficiary of the Republican party's sweep of the White House and both chambers of Congress.

"CVS should benefit in a Trump win scenario from a continuation of 'business as usual' for the pharmaceutical supply channel," the firm wrote in a note. "Clinton has expressed an interest to control drug prices, which would be negative for a hybrid."

But Trump's lack of concrete policy proposals remains a concern for some investors.

The president-elect has voiced support for allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies, but has failed to outline any specific legislation.

"There is no detail on what he plans to do for the health care sector in the U.S.," Morningstar analyst Vishnu Lekraj said. "He has shown in the past that he is prone to change his stance and policies very easily."

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