UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) reported first quarter results, highlighted by accelerating growth, consistent execution and strong operating performance in businesses across the Company.
“We are working to create more effective and more modern approaches to accessing and delivering health care. We are gratified with the market response to our efforts, providing us opportunities to serve more people, in more ways,” said Stephen J. Hemsley, chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group.
The Company expects 2015 revenues of approximately $143 billion, an increase of $2 billion from the previous outlook, due to stronger business growth in the first quarter. Earnings are now expected to be in a range of $6.15 to $6.30 per share, an increase from the prior outlook of $6.00 to $6.25 per share, despite absorbing approximately $0.10 per share from the proposed combination with Catamaran Corporation, including transaction costs and the effect of moderated share repurchase activity. Management expects the combination to contribute $0.30 per share to UnitedHealth Group’s 2016 earnings. Reflecting the increased outlook for revenues and earnings, the Company is raising its projection for 2015 cash flows from operations to a range of $8.2 billion to $8.4 billion.
UnitedHealth Group’s first quarter 2015 revenues of $35.8 billion grew 13 percent or more than $4 billion yearover-year. Revenue growth was broad-based, with both UnitedHealthcare and Optum revenues growing by double digit percentages.
• First quarter earnings from operations were $2.6 billion and net earnings of $1.46 per share increased 33 percent year-over-year. With strengthened overall operating performance compared to the first quarter of 2014, the net margin of 4.0 percent expanded 50 basis points year-over-year.
• First quarter 2015 cash flows from operations of $2.3 billion were 1.6 times net earnings and grew 61 percent year-over-year due to growth in risk-based products and the expansion in overall earnings.
• The consolidated medical care ratio decreased 140 basis points year-over-year to 81.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015. Prior year medical reserve development was $140 million, compared to $220 million in the first quarter of 2014.
• The first quarter 2015 operating cost ratio of 16.6 percent increased 20 basis points year-over-year due to higher growth in services businesses.
• The first quarter 2015 tax rate of 43.3 percent increased 130 basis points year-over-year due to higher levels of nondeductible ACA fees. • First quarter 2015 days sales outstanding of 13 days increased 1 day year-over-year, due to higher growth in government programs. Days claims payable was flat year-over-year at 47 days.
• The Company’s balance sheet remained strong, with a debt to total capital ratio of 36.6 percent at March 31, 2015. UnitedHealth Group repurchased $900 million in stock in the first quarter, acquiring more than 8 million shares, and grew dividend payments to shareholders by 29 percent year-over-year to $357 million.
UnitedHealthcare provides health care benefits, serving individuals and employers ranging from sole proprietorships to large, multi-site and national and international organizations; delivers health and well-being benefits to Medicare beneficiaries and retirees; manages health care benefit programs on behalf of state Medicaid and community programs; and serves the nation’s military service members, retirees and their families through the TRICARE program.
UnitedHealthcare’s first quarter 2015 revenues of $32.6 billion grew $3.4 billion or 12 percent year-over-year. The number of people served across the U.S. benefits markets grew 1.6 million year-over-year, all organically, with balanced growth across commercial, Medicare and Medicaid offerings. In the first quarter of 2015, UnitedHealthcare grew to serve more than 1 million additional people domestically.
• First quarter 2015 earnings from operations for UnitedHealthcare increased $494 million over the first quarter of 2014. Improved performance in managing health care costs across all businesses and improved operational performance combined to advance UnitedHealthcare’s first quarter operating margin to 5.8 percent. Page 4 of 7 UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual
• UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual served 680,000 more people in the first quarter and 320,000 more people year-over-year. First quarter growth was led by the positive market response to the Company’s individual public exchange products and favorable annual renewal activity and new business awards serving employer customers.
• First quarter revenues of $11.4 billion grew 4 percent year-over-year reflecting growth in the number of people served, price increases for medical cost trends and a continuing market shift to lower price point products, including public exchange offerings. UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement
• First quarter 2015 UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement revenues of $12.8 billion grew $1.3 billion or 11 percent year-over-year due to consistent growth in services to seniors. - In Medicare Advantage, UnitedHealthcare grew to serve 220,000 more seniors, a 7 percent year-overyear increase, including 200,000 more in first quarter 2015. - Medicare Supplement products grew 8 percent to serve 305,000 more people year-over-year, including 180,000 in the first quarter. - UnitedHealthcare’s stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan participation remained largely unchanged, contracting year-over-year by 40,000 people. UnitedHealthcare Community & State
• First quarter 2015 UnitedHealthcare Community & State revenues of $6.9 billion grew $1.7 billion or 33 percent year-over-year, due to strong overall growth and an increasing mix of higher acuity members, such as those served through long-term care programs.
• In the past year UnitedHealthcare grew its Medicaid services by 750,000 people or 17 percent to serve more than 5 million people. Strong first quarter growth of 160,000 people was fully offset by a previously scheduled membership reduction of 175,000 people in one market, where an additional offering was introduced by the state. UnitedHealthcare Global
• UnitedHealthcare Global’s first quarter 2015 revenues of $1.5 billion decreased 7 percent or $107 million year-over-year. Using first quarter 2015 exchange rates for both periods, revenues grew 12 percent yearover-year. The number of people served declined 495,000 year-over-year as a result of strengthened pricing and underwriting disciplines in response to regulatory actions causing use of the health care system to rise.
Optum is a health services business serving the broad health care marketplace, including payers, care providers, employers, governments, life sciences companies and consumers. Using advanced data analytics and technology, Optum’s people help improve overall health system performance: optimizing care quality, reducing costs and improving the consumer experience and care provider performance.
Optum’s revenues for the first quarter of 2015 grew 15 percent or $1.6 billion year-over-year to $12.8 billion as each reporting segment advanced revenues by a double-digit percentage. Optum’s first quarter 2015 earnings from operations of $742 million grew 14 percent or $92 million year-over-year. Absent $42 million in acquisition costs from the proposed Catamaran combination, first quarter operating earnings growth would have exceeded 20 percent and the operating margin of 5.8 percent would have been 6.1 percent, up 30 basis points year-over-year.
OptumHealth revenues of $3.3 billion grew 27 percent year-over-year due to growth in the number of patients served across its OptumCare health care delivery businesses, as well as business expansion in population health management services for third party payers. - OptumInsight revenues grew to $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2015, advancing 11 percent year-overyear, driven by expansion and growth in care provider revenue management services. OptumInsight’s quarter end revenue backlog was $9.1 billion, with growth in external backlog accelerating to 24 percent year-over-year.
OptumRx revenues grew 11 percent year-over-year as first quarter script volumes increased 5 percent to nearly 150 million adjusted scripts. Management expects the Catamaran combination to enhance OptumRx’s offerings and generate substantial value for clients and individuals.