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PacifiCare Stock Up 7.5% on Report

February 02, 2001|Bloomberg News

Shares of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., the biggest U.S. operator of Medicare health plans, moved higher Thursday after an analyst said the Santa Ana company had raised premiums more than expected in some markets.

PacifiCare's stock closed at $25.56, up $1.25, after trading as high as $29.25 a share earlier in the trading session. The stock gained 7.5% on Wednesday in Nasdaq trading.

PacifiCare was able to raise premiums an average of 11.7% for customers renewing business this year, analyst Christine Arnold at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. said in a report. Last year, PacifiCare raised premiums 8.2%, she said.

The shares, which slumped 72% last year, surged more than 70% in January.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jerome V. Vaccaro has been named president and chief executive of the company's mental health division, PacifiCare Behavioral Health. He succeeds Dr. S. Alan Savitz, who retired.

Vaccaro joined PacifiCare Behavioral Health as medical director in 1996 and was appointed vice president and corporate medical director in 1998.

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