UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 15, 2020 • 08:45 am ET


UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning, and welcome to UnitedHealth Group Fourth Quarter and Full Year 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 US 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 January 15, 2020, which may be accessed from the Investors page of the company's website.

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

David S. Wichmann

Good morning and thank you for joining us. Six weeks ago, we had the privilege of spending the day with many of you at our annual Investor Conference, providing an in-depth look at the accelerating opportunities we see to serve more people, more deeply and to grow strongly into 2020 and well beyond.

As we conclude 2019 and step into the New Year, the performance of our business strengthens our confidence in the themes, opportunities, and outlooks of that day, as evidenced by today's results. We remain highly focused on driving affordability, innovating with consumer and customer response to products and services, improving operating performance and advancing NPS.

Full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share were stronger than our Investor Conference outlook, growing 17% for the year to $15.11 per share. Full year revenues exceeded $242 billion, growing $16 billion over 2018 with notable gains in our Medicare, care delivery and pharmacy care services businesses. Full year cash flows were $18.5 billion dollars or 1.3 times net income.

We finished the year encouraged by continued performance improvement in Medicaid. Early market interest in our new innovative line of employer-sponsored benefit offerings and 2020 individual Medicare Advantage annual enrollment results, which were our strongest ever. Within our Medicare Advantage offerings, including dual eligible growth we expect to serve nearly 700,000 more people in 2020, the upper end of the range of performance offered at our Investor Conference.

Our fourth quarter medical and operating cost positions continued to improve meaningfully enterprise wide with ample opportunity for further progress on both of these fronts. And our NPS improved nicely in 2019 across our businesses, particularly with network care providers, enrollees in Medicare Advantage and dual special needs plans as well as patients served by our OptumCare and pharmacy care services businesses.

Improved cost and higher satisfaction propelled by meaningful innovation