Anthem posts 30% boost in net income for Q1

Anthem posted strong financial results for the first quarter of 2018, with net income increasing by 30%. (Pixabay)

Anthem kicked off 2018 with a strong first quarter, following in the footsteps of recent earnings reports from Centene and UnitedHealth.

The Indianapolis-headquartered health insurer's net income increased 30% to $1.3 billion with adjusted net income shares growing by 15.6% over last year to $5.41, according to a filing on Wednesday. 

Additionally, Anthem generated operating cash flows of $2.2 billion, or 1.7 times net income. A major driver of results was the company's reduction in medical costs by 3% to $17.05 billion, which the company credited to value-based care models. 

Operating gain among the company's government plans grew 54% compared to the first quarter of 2017, thanks in part to Health Sun and America's 1st Choice acquisitions. 

"Throughout 2018, we are prioritizing investments to create a more flexible infrastructure that can quickly respond to the evolving needs of our customers and the changing healthcare environment," Gail K. Boudreaux, president and CEO of the company, said in a statement. 

The results follow on the heels of revenue increases by competitors. Centene saw Q1 revenues increase by 13% and UnitedHealth posted similar results. 

RELATED: UnitedHealth reports double-digit revenue boost, backed by Medicare Advantage enrollment

Anthem, however, did see a drop in its medical enrollment total by 2.5% from this time last year to 39.6 million despite 135,000 new Medicare Advantage customers. The company expects the enrollment numbers to tick back up before year's end. 

Based on the positive results, Anthem increased its 2018 adjusted net income estimate to be greater than $15.30 per share, up from a $15 estimate earlier this year.