WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Apr 30, 2019 • 08:00 am ET
Good morning and welcome to WellCare's First Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) Please note this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to WellCare's management team. Please go ahead.
Thank you all for joining us this morning for a discussion of WellCare's 2019 first quarter results. Today, we will be making forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, the timing of the closing of the merger with Centene. Various risks and uncertainties, such as those described in our SEC filings may materially impact those statements. While these risks and uncertainties may cause our future results to differ from today's statements. We are not undertaking any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.
Certain financial information that we will discuss today, including adjustments to expenses that we believe are not indicative of long-term business operations. Please refer to our news release published this morning and available on our website at www.wellcare.com for a reconciliation of financial measures determined under generally accepted accounting principles to our adjusted measures. We will identify measures that have been adjusted.
Our discussion today will be led by Ken Burdick, WellCare's Chief Executive Officer; and Drew Asher, the company's Chief Financial Officer. Due to the recently announced definitive merger agreement with Centene Corporation, we will no longer be updating financial guidance. The guidance for the full year 2019 remains as of February 5, 2019.
Additionally, we will not be taking questions after these prepared remarks.
I will now turn the discussion over to Ken. Ken?
Kenneth A. Burdick
Thank you, Beau. Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us today as we review our first quarter 2019 results. This morning, I'll review some of the key items from the quarter , discuss some of the opportunities ahead and then Drew will review our financial results in more detail.
We are pleased to report first quarter adjusted earnings per diluted share of $3.69, representing a year-over-year increase of 49%. Additionally, we reported adjusted total revenue of $6.7 billion, a 48% increase over the $4.5 billion reported in the same period last year. The revenue and earnings growth in the quarter is largely due to the acquisition of Meridian in September of 2018 and organic growth across all three lines of business. As we announced just over a month ago, WellCare and Centene signed a merger agreement to form the premier managed care enterprise, focused on government sponsored programs.
The merger will combine best-in-class capabilities with a strong emphasis on providing high quality, affordable healthcare to members in their local communities. We are excited about the long-term opportunities for driving profitable growth as a combined company. In the near term, our focus continues on our commitments to our members, our partners and our shareholders.
Let's review some of the progress that we're making and the opportunities we have, in front of us this year. First, in Florida, our geographic and service expansion in the state is