Anthem profit nears $1B in Q4, but misses expectations

Anthem saw its revenues and profits grow in the fourth quarter of 2019, but the insurer missed analysts' earnings expectations.

Anthem ended the quarter with total revenues of $27.4 billion, up 17.3 percent from $23.4 billion in the same quarter a year before. The insurer attributed the gains to higher premium revenue from membership growth, rate increases and its IngenioRx pharmacy offering.

At the same time, Anthem's expenses weighed down revenue growth. The insurer's expenses grew to $26.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, up 15.2 percent from $22.8 billion in the same period a year prior.

Anthem's expense ratio, which measures how much premium revenue the insurer spends on medical claims versus overhead and business-related costs, climbed to 89 percent in the most recent quarter. That's up from 86.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Anthem ended the fourth quarter with net income of $934 million after including income tax expenses. That's up more than 120 percent from $424 million reported in the same quarter a year prior. The insurer's adjusted earnings, reported as $3.88 per share, missed analysts' projected $3.90 per share. For the full 2019, Anthem recorded net income of $4.8 billion after taxes, up 28.2 percent from $3.8 billion the year prior.

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