WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ:WBMD) Q4 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 16, 2017 • 04:45 pm ET


WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ:WBMD) Q4 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good afternoon and welcome to the WebMD Health Corp's fourth quarter 2016 conference call. Today's call is being recorded. I will now turn the call over to Risa Fisher, Vice President of Investor Relations.

Risa Fisher

Good afternoon. This conference call is to discuss WebMD's fourth quarter results. The earnings release issued today by WebMD is available at www.WBMD.com in the Investor Relations section. The release and the related Form 8-K include reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures which will be discussed during this call. (Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements) Joining us with prepared remarks today are Steve Zatz, Chief Executive Officer, and Blake DeSimone, Chief Financial Officer. We will take questions at the conclusion of our prepared remarks. I would now like to turn it over to Steve Zatz, CEO of WebMD.

Steve Zatz

Thank you for joining us this afternoon. I trust you have all had a chance to review the press releases and accompanying guidance that we issued today. We reported strong fourth quarter and full-year 2016 results which were near the high-end of the ranges of financial guidance we previously provided. Looking forward, our financial outlook for 2017 reflects a decline in growth in pharma advertising that is more significant than we had anticipated on our last call. I will discuss some of the external factors that we believe are impacting our pharma growth in 2017 in a few moments.

We announced today that our Board of Directors has commenced a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value. These alternatives could include, among other things, the sale of part or all of the Company, a merger with another party or other strategic transaction, or continuing to execute on WebMD's business plan. The Board has not set a timetable for this process, nor has it made the decisions related to any strategic alternatives at this time.

There can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in a transaction. We do not intend to provide updates unless or until we determine that further disclosure is appropriate or necessary. JPMorgan is acting as financial advisor to the Company.

We will work diligently to ensure that our customers and business partners are not impacted during this evaluation. Although our outlook for pharma advertising shows lower growth in 2017, we remain enthusiastic about the long-term opportunity in pharma, our market-leading position, our highly engaged audiences, and our ability to capitalize on the broader opportunities for growth.

Turning first to a review of the fourth quarter, our revenue increased 8% to $207.5 million primarily due to higher revenue from our biopharma customers. Net income increased 32% to $36.2 million and adjusted EBITDA increased 16% to $78.1 million. For the full-year total revenues increased 11% to $705 million. Biopharma advertising and sponsorship revenue grew 15% to $428.5 million. OTC, CPG and other advertising and sponsorship revenue grew 4% to $132.8 million.

WebMD Health Services revenue grew 3% to $113.9 million and information services revenue grew 11% to $29.8 million.