Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Jan 31, 2018 • 08:30 am ET


Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Anthem's Fourth Quarter Results Conference Call. At this time all lines are in a listen-only mode, later there will be a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. (Operator instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to the company's management.

Doug Simpson

Good morning and welcome to Anthem's fourth quarter 2017 earnings call. This is Doug Simpson, and with us this morning are Gail Boudreaux, President and CEO; John Gallina, our CFO; Pete Haytaian, The President of our Government Business Division; Brian Griffin, President of our Commercial Specialty Business Division; and Tom Zielinski, our General Counsel.

Gail will begin the call by giving an overview of her first few months at Anthem and her vision for the company. John will then discuss our financial results for 2017 and the fourth quarter, our business unit performance and our key financial metrics performance. Finally, Gail will go over our initial 2018 outlook. We will then be available for Q&A.

During the call, we will reference certain non-GAAP measures. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are available on our website at We will also be making some forward-looking statements on this call. Listeners are cautioned that these statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Anthem. These risks and uncertainties can cause actual results to differ materially from our current expectations. We advice listeners to review the risk factors discussed in today's press release and in our quarterly and annual filings with the SEC.

I will now turn the call over to Gail.

Gail K. Boudreaux

Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us as we review Anthem's fourth quarter and year-end 2017 performance and our plans for continued growth in 2018 and beyond. This morning, we reported fourth quarter 2017 GAAP earnings per share of $4.67 and adjusted earnings per share of $1.29, which were ahead of our expectation driven by balanced performance across our businesses.

Operating revenues in 2017 grew by 5.8% to over 89 billion. Our medical loss ratio came in at a better than expected 86.4% for the year and operating cash flow exceeded $4.2 billion for the year, growth of 28% over 2016. We are pleased with our improved business momentum in the quarter and our continued traction in the marketplace, as evidenced by solid membership trends in key parts of our business, including our fully insured large and small group commercial markets and the completion of the HealthSun transaction, which added approximately 40,000 new consumers to our Medicare Advantage business. We finished 2017 slightly ahead of expectations serving the benefit needs of more than 40.2 million consumers, representing growth of 325,000 members during the year.

Also medical costs were well managed for the year and our full-year medical loss ratio came in better than expected. Our continued focus