Health information services company WedMD Health (WBMD) which on Wednesday unveiled better-than-expected first quarter numbers, has not made any decision on how to enter the telehealth market, according to CEO David Schlanger during an earnings call.
Telehealth allows patients to have visits online with their doctors for non-life threatening conditions.
During the call on Wednesday afternoon, Schlanger said that while telemedicine holds promise, "today it is still in its earliest stage," noting that "a small fraction of 1% of potential visits are being done via telehealth today and the majority of those are not even digital. They're being done by telephone."
"Like anything in its nascent stage, there are numerous hurdles to widespread adoption," Schlanger said. "With our distribution brand and consumer trust, we think we have unique advantages in this space, as has been observed in some recent analyst reports. But at this time, we have not made any decisions or commitments as to how to enter this market."
During WebMD's Q4 2015 earnings call in February, Schlanger mentioned telemedicine as a potential opportunity for WebMD.
Getting into telehealth "adds a second leg to the growth story, which is attractive to Wall Street," Leerink Partners analyst Steven Wardell told TheStreet on April 22.
WebMD on Wednesday reported first-quarter numbers that beat expectations.
The company reported net income of $15.7 million, or 36 cents per diluted share. Analysts had expected GAAP earnings per share of 33 cents, according to Bloomberg. In the year-ago period, the company had net income of $10 million, or 25 cents per diluted share.
WebMD generated revenue of $158.6 million, up 11% from the same period a year ago. Analysts had forecast revenue of $156.6 million.
Advertising and sponsorship revenue totaled $$122.4 million, up 16%, with revenue from biopharma and medical device clients accounting for $88.7 million, up 17% year-over-year. Ad and sponsorship revenue relating to over-the-counter medications, consumer products and others came in at $33.8 million, up 13%.
Private portal services revenue was $28.3 million, compared with $29.3 million in the year-ago period; and information services revenue was $7.9 million, compared with $8.2 million in the first three months of 2015.
Also on Wednesday, WebMD raised its full-year guidance.
The company expects revenue to be around $695 million to $708 million, compared to the previous guidance of around $685 million to $705 million. It expects adjusted Ebitda to be $224 million to $232 million, up from the previous range of around $219 million to $230 million. The company expects net income to be $83 million to $91 million, compared with previous guidance of around $79 million to $89 million.