Humana's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Humana (HUM)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 30, 2012 9:00 am ET

Executives

Michael B. McCallister - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Executive Committee

Bruce D. Broussard - President

James H. Bloem - Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President and Treasurer

James E. Murray - Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President

Analysts

Matthew Borsch - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Joshua R. Raskin - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Charles Andrew Boorady - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Sarah James - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division

Kevin M. Fischbeck - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Christine Arnold - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division

Ana Gupte - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Christian Rigg - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division

Scott J. Fidel - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

David H. Windley - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Peter H. Costa - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Carl R. McDonald - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Douglas Simpson - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Thomas A. Carroll - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Robin, and I will be your conference operator today. [Operator Instructions] Ms. Regina Nethery, you may begin your conference.

Regina Nethery

Thank you, and good morning. In a moment, our senior management team will briefly discuss highlights from our first quarter 2012 results, as well as comment on our earnings outlook for the full year. Participating in today's prepared remarks will be Mike McCallister, our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer; Bruce Broussard, Humana's President; and Jim Bloem, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Following these prepared remarks, we will open up the lines for our question-and-answer session with industry analysts. Joining Mike, Bruce and Jim for the Q&A session will be Jim Murray, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and Chris Todoroff, Senior Vice President and General Counsel. We encourage the investing public and media to listen in to both management's prepared remarks and the related Q&A with analysts.

This call is being recorded for replay purposes. That replay will be available on the Investor Relations page of Humana's website, humana.com, later today. This call is also being simulcast via the Internet, along with a virtual slide presentation. For those of you who have company firewall issues and cannot access the live presentation, an Adobe version of the slides has been posted to the Investor Relations section of Humana's website.

Before we begin our discussion, I need to advise call participants of our cautionary statement. Certain of the matters discussed in this conference call are forward looking and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially. Investors are advised to read the detailed risk factors discussed in this morning's earnings press release, as well as in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Today's press release, our historical financial news releases and our filings with the SEC are all available on Humana's Investor Relations website. Finally, any references made to earnings per share or EPS in this morning's call refer to diluted earnings per common share.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Mike McCallister.

Michael B. McCallister

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us. Today, Humana announced first quarter earnings of $1.49 per share, above the top end of our previous guidance. In light of these results, we are increasing our guidance for full year earnings per share to a range of $7.55 to $7.75 from our previous range of $7.50 to $7.70. Our better-than-expected results reflect Humana's continued focus on the growth that comes from helping people achieve lifelong well-being, particularly in Medicare.

In today's call, I'll discuss 3 major Medicare growth opportunities for Humana. Medicare age-ins as baby boomers retire, Group Medicare business and longer-term Medicare/Medicaid dual-eligibles. To put these opportunities in context, let me begin with a brief review of Humana's strategy.

For several years, I've been emphasizing the importance of membership growth in Medicare Advantage and PDP as the primary key to Humana's long-term prosperity. We've consequently developed a growth cycle repeated each 12 months, which has achieved notable success.

It works like this. First, we reset our Medicare margins to 5% in the bids we file with CMS each June. Next, we vigorously pursue the comprehensive data-driven medical management and operating cost initiatives that make up our 15 Percent Solution. The progress we make each year is reinvested into attractive highly competitive products for the following year, what you often hear me describe as our senior value proposition.

Finally, in addition to Medicare membership growth, our increasing scale produces related benefits for business adjacencies like RightSource and Concentra as we acquaint all of our members with a wide array of Humana products and services with the goal of maximizing lifetime customer value. Our first quarter results extended this successful cycle and positioned us well for additional growth.

This slide shows just how significant that growth has been over the last 3 years. We achieved a net new Medicare Advantage membership increase of 254,000 in 2010; 196,000 in 2011; and are projecting 330,000 to 340,000 net new numbers by the end of this year, the biggest single year increase since 2006. Our stand-alone PDP net new growth estimate for this year is 500,000 to 600,000 on top of the 859,000 net new members we added in 2011.

With respect to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries, the first of the 3 opportunities, I've discussed in previous calls how our one-to-one retail approach to Medicare Advantage sales, combined with our compelling senior value proposition, positions us well as the age-in population increases.

This slide shows that in the growing Medicare Advantage market, Humana's growth is outpacing the sector's overall growth. Working in tandem, these 2 trends are adding appreciably to our scale, which is especially important in the post-reform environment.

I'll now turn to Group Medicare Advantage, the second of our 3 Medicare growth opportunities. This market has been estimated at approximately 14 million eligibles. It clearly has significant potential, but requires patience since the sales cycle tends to be long. We're seeing an uptick in interest recently as commercial and public sector employers, faced with the baby boomer retirement wave, are engaging in serious discussions with us more actively than ever before.

We're also seeing promising early results. Since 2008, Humana has added more than 300,000 Group Medicare Advantage members. We expect to continue to be an active participant here as employers seek national players with depth and breadth of experience managing retiree health benefit costs.

Turning thirdly to dual-eligibles. This slide sizes the market opportunity for full duals at nearly 7 million eligibles. We believe firmly that our knowledge of the senior population, together with our proven clinical care model serving those living with multiple chronic conditions, gives Humana a distinct advantage in addressing the high cost and poor health often associated with the dual-eligibles. Bruce Broussard will speak more fully to this opportunity in his remarks.

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