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Centene Posts Nearly $19B in Revenues as N.Y. Approves WellCare Merger

By Jack O'Brien  
   October 22, 2019

The pending $17.3 billion megamerger has now received approval from 25 state regulators.

On the same day that Centene Corp. reported Q3 revenues of nearly $19 billion, New York state regulators approved the insurer's pending megamerger with WellCare Health Plans.

The St. Louis-based insurer, which recently gained approvals from regulators in five other states for its $17.3 billion deal, produced yet another round of strong financials Tuesday morning. 

The company's total managed care membership reached 15.3 million in Q3, its diluted earnings per share (EPS) rose 360% year-over-year to $0.23, and its adjusted EPS increased 8% to $0.89. 

Ultimately, Centene ended Q3 with a $95 million profit, well exceeding its $19 million profit from Q3 2018.

Related: Centene Revenues Grow 30%, Membership Up 2.2M

Related: 17 State Insurance Departments Approve Centene-WellCare Merger

Centene's Medicaid membership jumped by more than 60,000 members, which contributed to segment revenue growth of 18% year-over-year.

C-suite perspective: 

"We are pleased with our third quarter results which reflect growth in our marketplace business, Medicaid business, and new programs, demonstrating the benefits of our diversification strategy on our healthcare enterprise," Michael Neidorff, CEO of Centene, said in a statement. "Looking ahead, we will continue to further enhance our leadership position in government-sponsored healthcare."

Outside of the ongoing pursuit of regulatory approval for the WellCare deal, Centene announced last week the formation of a partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance to create an "innovative model for pharmacy management" through RxAdvance, a cloud-based pharmacy benefit manager.

Related: Centene, Walgreens Announce PBM Partnership

Centene recorded total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash and cash equivalents just shy of $6.2 billion in Q3, down slightly from $6.8 billion this time last year.

One miss for Centene was its negative total cash flows provided by operations of $99 million, due in large part to a $1 billion payment of 2018 risk adjustment to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

Still, the financial guidance for Centene rose on the latest round of earnings, with year-end diluted EPS projected between a range of $4.29 and $4.49.

Company leadership still expects total revenues in the range of $73.6 billion to $74.2 billion.

Additional Centene Q3 earnings report highlights:  

  • The insurer reported $15.6 billion in cash, investments, and restricted deposits at the end of September 2019, down from $15.9 billion at the end of Q2.
  • Commercial revenues rose 17% while Medicare revenues increased 5% compared to Q3 2018, respectively.
  • Dual-eligible membership increased by nearly 40,000 covered lives year-over-year.

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

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

Photo credit: KIEV, UKRAINE - Dec 11, 2018: Centene Corporation Insurance company logo seen displayed on smart phone. - Image / Editorial credit: IgorGolovniov /

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