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Analysis

Earnings Rebound for WellCare in First Report Since Centene Announcement

By Jack O'Brien  
   April 30, 2019

The Tampa-based insurer's net income and total revenues experienced a significant bump compared to Q1 2018.

In its first earnings report since announcing its $17.3 billion merger plans with Centene, WellCare Health Plans produced strong financials across the board.

The Tampa-based insurer recorded adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.69, an increase of $1.22 year-over-year, total revenues of $6.7 billion, an increase of $2.1 billion year-over-year, and an adjusted net income margin of $2.8%, up 0.3% year-over-year.

As in previous quarters, WellCare benefited from strong performance in its Medicaid segment, with revenues of $4.4 billion, an increase of 63.7% compared to this time last year.

The company's Medicaid membership totalled 4.1 million at the end of Q1, up 1.4 million members year-over-year, spurred on by last year's $2.5 billion purchase of Meridian Health Plan of Michigan.

C-SUITE PERSPECTIVE: 

"We're pleased with our strong revenue and earnings growth in the quarter," Ken Burdick, CEO of WellCare, said in a statement. "While we pursue the approvals for our recently announced combination with Centene, we continue to focus on serving our 6.3 million members on behalf of our government partners."

One quarter after seeing its net income decline $55.9 million, WellCare ended Q1 with a net income of $151.4 million, with an adjusted net income of $187.6 million.

Due to its pending Centene merger, WellCare is not providing an updated financial guidance for the rest of 2019.

Related: With $17.3B Plan to Buy WellCare, Centene Doubles Down on Growth Goals in ACA Markets

Related: A Month After Announcing WellCare Deal, Centene Produces Robust Q1 Earnings

WellCare's $30 million in net cash provided by operating activities in Q1 was a fraction of the $445.7 million total in Q1 2018. The insurer attributed this to the "timing of premium-related payments" from government partners.

ADDITIONAL WELLCARE Q1 EARNINGS REPORT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The insurer's Medicare prescription drug plans membership reached 1.6 million, a year-over-year increase of more than 550,000 members.
  • The company's Medicare health plans revenues ticked up to $1.8 billion, an increase of nearly $300 milllion.
  • By the end of Q1, WellCare had $296.4 million in unregulated cash and investments, down from $561.3 million in Q1 2018.

For complete financial information, review WellCare'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 18,, 2018: WellCare Health care company logo seen displayed on smart phone - Image / Editorial credit: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com


KEY TAKEAWAYS

One quarter after seeing its net income decline $55.9 million, WellCare ended Q1 with a net income of $151.4 million

As in previous quarters, WellCare benefited from strong performance in its Medicaid segment, with revenues of $4.4 billion.

CEO Ken Burdick said he was "pleased" with the company's revenues ahead of the next steps in its merger with Centene.


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