) has been on an uptrend since the private health insurance
exchange announced its preliminary results for the fourth quarter
and full year 2013 on Jan 8. Its share price has gained nearly
24% since then.
eHealth noted that demand for its Individual & Family Plan
(IFP) product increased substantially in the fourth quarter. As
such, it estimated that submitted applications for its IFP
product surged almost 50% in the fourth quarter. The company also
predicted fourth-quarter submitted applications for total
Medicare products increased more than 65% while submitted
applications for Medicare Advantage product increased more than
35% over the year-ago period.
These are expected to drive fourth-quarter revenues to a range of
$53 to $55 million, and in turn, boost full-year revenues to a
range of $178 million to $180 million. The top line for 2013 is
likely to figure above the company guidance of $168 million to
For full year 2013, earnings are estimated to be between 34-41
cents per share, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 24
cents. The bottom line may, however, fail to meet the company's
guidance of 61-71 cents per share.
Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)
for full year 2013 is estimated in the range of $16.0-$18.0
million, below the company's guidance of $23-$29 million.
eHealth estimates fourth-quarter bottom line to range between
loss of 3 cents and earnings of 4 cents, shy of the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of earnings of 6 cents. EBITDA for the fourth
quarter is estimated to be in the range of $1 - $3 million.
With respect to earnings performance, eHealth delivered a
positive earnings surprise in one of the last three reported
quarters while managing to meet the Zacks Consensus Estimate in
the other two. However our proven model does not conclusively
show that eHealth is likely to beat earnings this quarter. This
is because a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) combined with an
of -83.3% makes prediction difficult.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some better-ranked stocks in the insurance sector include
Arthur J Gallagher & Co
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc
Assured Guaranty Ltd
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
ASSURED GUARNTY (AGO): Free Stock Analysis
GALLAGHER ARTHU (AJG): Free Stock Analysis
EHEALTH INC (EHTH): Free Stock Analysis
MARSH &MCLENNAN (MMC): Free Stock Analysis
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