Wednesday, March 22

Humana to name two independent directors in agreement with Starboard

Article content

Humana Inc said on Tuesday it has entered an agreement with activist hedge fund Starboard Value to name two independent directors to the health insurer’s board.

The first appointment will be before the annual shareholder meet on April 21 and the second one will follow that. They will replace incumbent directors, who will not stand for re-election.

Starboard owns 1 million shares, or a 0.79% stake, in Humana and is one of the most visible activist investors with holdings in insurer eHealth Inc, web services company GoDaddy Inc and cloud services provider Box Inc.

Article content

Last month, the hedge fund nominated four directors including its Chief Executive Jeff Smith to chemicals maker Huntsman Corp’s board.

Following the agreement with Humana, Smith said the insurer is well-positioned to deliver gains in market share for Medicare Advantage, improved profitability and earnings growth.

Meanwhile, Humana reiterated its long-term adjusted profit forecast of a 11% to 15% growth.

The agreement shows support for Humana’s strategy of increasing market share in Medicare Advantage business, improving margins, accelerating growth in healthcare services and reducing operating expenses, said Stephens analyst Scott Fidel in a note.

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)