UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Apr 16, 2019 • 08:45 am ET

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UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning and welcome to the UnitedHealth Group First Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. A question-and-answer session will follow UnitedHealth Group's prepared remarks. As a reminder, this call is being recorded.

Here are some important introductory information. This call contains forward-looking statements under the U.S. federal securities laws. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or present expectations. A description of some of the risks and uncertainties can be found in the reports that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the cautionary statements included in our current and periodic filings.

This call will also reference non-GAAP amounts. A reconciliation of the non-GAAP to GAAP amounts is available on the financial reports and SEC filings section of the Company's investors page at www.unitedhealthgroup.com. Information presented on this call is contained in the earnings release we issued this morning and in our Form 8-K dated April 16, 2019, which may be accessed from the investors page on the Company's website.

I will now turn the conference over to the Chief Executive Officer of UnitedHealth Group, David Wichmann.

Executive
David S. Wichmann

Good morning and thank you for joining us. Today we reported a strong start to 2019 with revenues up 9%, adjusted earnings per share growing 23% and return on equity of nearly 27%. Optum and UnitedHealthcare each contributed fully to this performance.

With confidence and continued momentum we are raising our earnings expectations for 2019. The continued growth in earnings performance of our business is a byproduct of our focus on providing exceptional returns to society by improving healthcare affordability, outcomes and the patient experience, what some refer to as the triple aim. This orientation frames our growth strategy, informs capital allocation decisions and shapes the operating plans for UnitedHealth Group's businesses, all directed towards attaining the promise of our mission. It's that same mission, strategy and approach we have pursued since 1998 when UnitedHealth Group was well less than a 10th its current size, and when our strength and align capabilities and capacities did not nearly match our ambitions for the health system as they do today.

Over that 20-year time period, UnitedHealth Group has applied competencies in data, technology, clinical insights and well formed innovation and adaptive traits to drive change and grow strong market positions in the large and fast-growing healthcare end market. Our outlook for growth continues today as the pace of innovation and our capacities for change advance in a market restless for achieving improved value, access and coverage in a sensible and durable way. The first quarter saw several developments illustrating some of the strongest progress yet on this journey, which we expect will build considerable shareholder value.

In pharmacy care services, OptumRx announced that point-of-sale consumer discounts on branded pharmaceuticals will be its fundamental approach to business, and UnitedHealthcare is well underway implementing point-of-sale discounts at scale for the more than 8 million consumers covered through its commercial risk business. At the counter, people