Centene Net Lower Than Expected - Firm Sees  Covid-Related Costs, Higher Revenue

Centene's first-quarter adjusted EPS totaled 86 cents a share, below analysts' forecast. The health-care-plan provider expects covid-19-related costs but higher revenue.
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Healthcare-plan provider Centene  (CNC) - Get Report reported first-quarter adjusted earnings that lagged expectations.

Adjusted earnings per share totaled 86 cents a share, down from $1.39 in the year- earlier quarter and below the Zacks Investment Research consensus estimate of $1.02.

GAAP net income registered $46 million in the latest quarter, or 8 cents a share, down from $522 million, or $1.24.

Revenue registered $26 billion for the latest quarter, exceeding analysts’ forecast by 7% and up 41% from $18.44 billion a year earlier.

Centene said in its quarterly filing that the short- and long-term effects of the coronavirus on its business are uncertain. The impact depends on developments such as the length and severity of the pandemic.

“The pandemic and these future developments will most likely impact our membership and utilization trends. We expect an increase in membership, driven by unemployment rates, causing an estimated increase of $4 billion to our original full year 2020 revenue guidance.”

The company also expects “decreased utilization, related to shelter-in-place and similar orders, which could cause delayed or avoided costs.”

It already has seen “a significant decrease in dental and vision claims,” Centene said. 

“However, the deferral of medical services may lead to higher costs of treatment once members return to seeking medical care, as their health issues may have become more acute. We expect incremental Covid-19 costs in medical expenses related to the waivers for tests and treatments.”

Centene shares at last check stood at $69, down 2.6%. The stock has climbed 12% over the past three months, compared with an 11% decline for the S&P 500.