WellCare beats Wall Street projections in Q2 

WellCare Health Plans surpassed Wall Street estimates in the second quarter of 2019, according to financial data released Tuesday morning. 

The health insurer posted $219 million in profit in the second quarter, or $4.31 per share, while the projections from financial analysts hovered at about $4.10 per share in earnings. Revenues were $7 billion in the second quarter, a 53.5% jump from the second quarter in 2018, according to WellCare’s earnings report

WellCare has beat Wall Street’s estimates four times over the last four quarters. 

“Our performance in the second quarter continues to highlight the dedication and focus our associates place on ensuring that our businesses operate effectively and profitably as a standalone company,” WellCare CEO Ken Burdick said on the insurer’s earnings call Tuesday. 

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Looming over WellCare’s recent financial successes is its pending $17 billion merger with Centene Corporation, which, if finalized, would create one of the country’s largest sponsors of government plans. 

Burdick said on the call that both companies are continuing to navigate the state and federal regulatory hurdles the deal faces. He said WellCare was pleased to see the shareholders for both companies approved the deal last month

He said that though an integration team is working hard on pushing the merger over the finish line, WellCare’s employees remain focused on keeping the company steady on its own in the interim. 

“Our integration planning teams continue to work collaboratively outlining how we will combine our best-in-class capabilities to provide high quality, affordable healthcare to our members with their individual needs in mind,” Burdick said. 

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The deal is slated to close in the first half of 2020, and Centene officials hinted on the company’s earnings call last week that it could be finalized closer to the beginning of the year, because negotiations were pacing ahead of schedule. 

WellCare did not adjust its 2019 guidance, as the merger is pending. 

The insurer reported membership was up in both its Medicaid and Medicare plans, with 1.3 million additional Medicaid members and 560,000 Medicare members compared to the second quarter of 2018. 

Much of the Medicaid increase was attributed to the closure of its acquisition of Meridian Health Plan of Michigan, Meridian Health Plan of Illinois and MeridianRx, a pharmacy benefit manager, WellCare said in the release.