DaVita raises 2019 outlook as it beats Q2 earnings forecasts

Finance earnings stock ticker graph
DaVita released its second-quarter earnings Thursday evening. (Getty/monsitj)

Dialysis provider DaVita's CEO Javier Rodriguez weighed in on the Trump administration's new kidney care initiatives, saying that the company is "well-positioned" for the changes.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced several new programs as part of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump. It includes five new kidney care payment models.

Rodriguez said on the company's earnings call that DaVita is still working to understand the new models, particularly as four voluntary approaches haven't been released in detail. But he noted that it could impact the company's Medicare reimbursements notably, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wants enroll a significant number of Medicare patients with end-stage renal disease in the models.

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"The community is working hard to better understand the rule and its implications," Rodriguez said. "We intend to provide input and the 60-day comment period to highlight where the regulation may be improved."

RELATED: DaVita's new CEO Rodriguez talks strategy, style and the future of kidney care

DaVita earned $272 million in profit for the second quarter of 2019, marking a year-over-year uptick—though year-to-date results lag behind compared to 2018.

That marks earnings per share of $1.64, according to financial results released Thursday evening, higher than the $1.53 per share reported in the second quarter of 2018. Net income for the first half of the year was $423 million compared to $446 million for the first half of 2018.

DaVita posted $2.84 billion, on par with the consensus on Wall Street.

Due to these results, it adjusted its 2019 outlook to between $1.64 billion and $1.7 billion in operating income from a range of $1.54 billion to $1.64 billion.

The marquee moment for DaVita in the second quarter was the closure of the sale of its medical group to UnitedHealth Group's Optum subsidiary. The Federal Trade Commission approved the $4.3 billion deal in June.

Rodriguez said that DaVita is disappointed in its non-acquired growth for the quarter, which continues to fall below expectations.

"While some of the decrease is related to the slowdown in industry patient growth, there is no getting around the fact that we're underperforming the industry," Rodriguez said. "The questions we've been working through are, what is the potential for improvement and when will we see the result?"

"Unfortunately, our response is dissatisfying," he added.

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