This is getting pretty routine, isn't it? Another quarter rolls around, and Healthways
Looking at the second-quarter results, we see revenue up 33%, thanks in part to the company's now having more than 2 million lives under management, a 36% increase from the year-ago level. The total for self-insured lives increased even faster -- up 66% from last year and making up 40% of the total.
Once again, though, earnings get a bit screwy. On the strictest possible basis, earnings per share slipped a bit from last year (0.20 versus 0.24), but I that's more misleading than informative. This quarter's results include $0.06 from stock-compensation expense, $0.06 from the Medicare pilot programs, and another $0.01 from so-called "international initiatives." Add those all back, and earnings-per-share growth was on the order of 42%. (Editor's note: The figures do not add up because of rounding, but the growth figure is correct.)
As has always been the case here, the company continues to build for the future. The Medicare pilot programs seem to be coming along well (engagement in the D.C.-area pilot exceeds 80%) and should actually make positive contributions to results this year. In addition, the company continues to sign new or expanded agreements, including a pilot program that will involve General Motors
It's still fair to say that this is not the easiest company to value. I've never been completely happy with how discounted cash flow systems value rapidly growing companies, and it's equally true that the market so often awards growth with premiums that make traditional metrics look unappealing. What that leaves me with, then, is the hunch that there's still room for the share price to grow, though I'm the first to admit that investing in hunches is dangerous.
Sooner or later, competitive threats will become more significant -- whether that's from similar companies such as Matria
For more healthy Foolishness:
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).