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Coronavirus Earnings Season: Anthem Withdraws Guidance, Humana Revises Outlook

By Jack O'Brien  
   April 29, 2020

The two insurers released their latest earnings reports Wednesday morning.

Both Anthem Inc. and Humana Inc. released Q1 earnings reports Wednesday morning, acknowledging the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on the bottom line.

Anthem, citing the "unprecedented uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic," withdrew its financial guidance for 2020 "until visibility improves."

However, Humana decided to revise its guidance range for GAAP earnings per share (EPS), individual Medicare Advantage net membership growth, and reiterating its expectations for group Medicare Advantage net membership growth for the year.

Still, Humana announced that it has withdrawn its additional detailed guidance released in early February as part of its Q4 2019 earnings report.

Related: Health Insurers Prosper as COVID-19 Deflates Demand for Elective Treatments

Below are highlights from the latest earnings reports released by both Anthem and Humana. 

Anthem's Q1 earnings

For Q1 2020, Anthem reported an operating revenue of $29.4 billion, up $5.1 billion year-over-year, thanks in large part to the continued strong performance of IngenioRx.

Similarly, Anthem's operating cash flow rose $2.5 billion, up $885 million year-over-year, and membership topped 42 million members, an increase of 1.3 million.

Anthem has decided to temporarily suspend its share repurchase program but did repurchase 1.9 million shares of its common stock for $529 million during Q1.

Related: Anthem Beats on Revenues and Earnings Thanks to Membership Growth

"Anthem recognizes the important role we play as part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Gail Boudreaux, CEO of Anthem, said in a statement. "Guided by our mission and values, Anthem is engaging across the country and in our local communities to support our members, customers and partners with relief and care during this challenging time. We are grateful to all those fighting on the front lines of this healthcare crisis, and will continue to stand with them as we work through this pandemic together."

Related: Anthem Finalizes Beacon Health Acquisition

The Indianapolis-based insurer offered two insights into its financial outlook for the rest of the year: GAAP net income is expected to be greater than $21 per share and adjusted net income is expected to be greater than $22.30 per share.

For complete financial information, review Anthem's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Humana's Q1 earnings

Humana revenues for Q1 almost hit $19 billion, up from $16.1 billion in Q1 2019.

Retail segment revenues grew by more than $2.7 billion while healthcare services segment revenues jumped by almost $1 billion.

For the quarter, Humana's EPS was $3.56, with an adjusted EPS of $5.40.

Related: Humana Participating in Provider Directory Improvement

Ahead of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Humana announced its participation in DirectAssure, a program offered by CAQH, alongside Aetna, Centene, and UnitedHealthcare.

Earlier this month, in response to the pandemic, Humana announced that it would expand the suspension of prior authorization to all providers for patient care related to COVID-19.

Related: Humana Suspends Prior Authorization for Patient Care Related to COVID-19

Related: Humana Benefits from Strong Medicare Advantage Membership in Q4

Looking ahead, the Louisville-based insurer expects its full year GAAP EPS to be in the range of $16.04 to $16.54, with individual Medicare Advantage membership growth between 300,000 to 350,000.

Humana reiterated its expectation that group Medicare Advantage growth for 2020 will be an increase of 90,000 members compared to fiscal year 2019. 

For complete financial information, review Humana's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

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