What happened

Shares of Health Insurance Innovations (NASDAQ:BFYT) were jumping 10.6% higher as of 11:49 a.m. EST on Thursday. The company, which operates a cloud-based technology platform for buying health and life insurance, announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 earnings results after the market closed on Wednesday.

Health Insurance Innovations reported Q4 revenue of $131.9 million, up nearly 90% year over year. The company posted Q4 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.98, an increase of 165% over the prior-year period. This result also easily topped Wall Street's consensus Q4 EPS estimate of $0.77.

In addition to strong Q4 results, Health Insurance Innovations pleased investors with its 2019 guidance. The company expects full-year revenue between $430 million and $440 million, up 22% to 25% year over year and significantly above the average analysts' estimate of $353 million. It also projected adjusted EPS between $3.23 and $3.35. This range reflects year-over-year growth of 23% to 29% and is also much higher than the consensus analysts' estimate of $3.05.

Check out the latest earnings call transcript for Health Insurance Innovations.

Man holding tablet with health insurance application displayed.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Health Insurance Innovations definitely finished out 2018 on a strong note. Not only did the company's revenue and earnings soar in Q4, but the company also struck a favorable deal in December with regulators in several states related to a multistate market conduct examination (MCE) into its sales, marketing, and administration practices.

While Health Insurance Innovations' Q4 results were great, it's the company's 2019 guidance that is even more encouraging for investors. The company appears to be on track to deliver a much stronger performance than even the most optimistic observers were expecting.

There are several reasons behind Health Insurance Innovations' rosy forecast. CEO Gavin Southwell noted in the company's Q4 conference call that Health Insurance Innovations has achieved success in the short-term medical coverage market while many of its competitors have run into challenges. Southwell thinks that this market will "provide potential significant upside" to the company in 2019 and beyond.

He also said that several other initiatives should boost sales for Health Insurance Innovations. Southwell specifically mentioned the company's plans to broaden its product offering for individuals over the age of 65, expand its association health plan products, and deliver more solutions for Spanish-speaking customers.

Now what

If Health Insurance Innovations can execute on its strategy, the company should have plenty of opportunities for growth. The company's core strength is its ability to navigate the complexities of different regulations in different states. Regulatory changes actually give Health Insurance Innovations a competitive advantage.

Even with the nice jump today, the stock remains valued at an attractive level, especially considering Health Insurance Innovations' growth prospects. It shouldn't be too late for investors to profit from the momentum that the company has going.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.