Chairman, President, & Chief Executive Officer
For more than three decades, Centene has gone beyond traditional healthcare, offering programs and services that address the health and social needs of the most vulnerable populations in the U.S. With our members’ diverse needs at the forefront of everything we do, we continued on our growth trajectory in 2019 by diversifying capabilities, enhancing opportunities, driving significant revenue, and expanding margins.
Building on our well-established, multi-line portfolio, we achieved significant organic growth in 2019, including the addition of new markets in Iowa and New Mexico, as well as the expansion of our Ambetter product in new and existing markets. In addition, in March 2019, we announced the acquisition of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. to bring together two top-performing companies. Having grown from a healthcare company to a premier healthcare enterprise, Centene was well-positioned for a major acquisition to further solidify our standing among industry leaders. Through this transaction, which was completed in January of this year, Centene will provide coverage to approximately 1 in 15 individuals across the nation.
Our board and management team are driven by the belief that the need and demand for high-quality, affordable healthcare will remain a constant in the U.S. We are proud to leverage the best of our systems and expertise to move to a more sophisticated management of healthcare costs, as we expand our U.S. footprint and grow internationally. This positions us to continue delivering results for our members, customers, communities, and shareholders.
We further established Centene as an industry leader in government-sponsored healthcare by building on our disciplined growth model and clear strategic plan. In 2019, FORTUNE magazine recognized our rapidly increasing size and scale on several corporate lists. Centene was ranked No. 51 on the FORTUNE 500® list, No. 168 on the FORTUNE Global 500, and No. 78 on the FORTUNE Fastest-Growing Companies list, where we were specifically recognized as part of an elite club of repeat growers. We are proud that our Provider Accessibility Initiative was recognized with a No. 7 ranking on the 2019 FORTUNE Change the World list, a collection of companies meeting unmet needs around the globe. For the second consecutive year, Centene was selected as one of FORTUNE magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies as a reflection of our highly regarded corporate reputation.
Centene is a premier healthcare enterprise that continues to create value for all of our stakeholders. As an established growth company and demonstrated industry leader, Centene’s success continues to be driven by results across business segments and reflects the strength of our diversified strategy. The business products and service lines within our portfolio continue to be a central part of Centene’s growth. Our continued operational optimization is reflected in the value we deliver to our stakeholders.
CLEAR GROWTH DRIVERS
Centene continues to be a high-growth industry leader, and we believe tremendous opportunities exist across our platforms. Centene delivered strong top and bottom line growth in 2019, enabled by operational and commercial successes across our enterprise. We increased revenues by 24 percent to $74.6 billion, grew adjusted earnings per diluted share by 25 percent to $4.42, and delivered an annual stockholder return of 9.1 percent. Throughout the enterprise, we are well-positioned to drive growth and expand margins. We have identified core growth drivers and remain strategically positioned to continue to capture larger shares of the $2 trillion addressable healthcare market.
In 2019, we delivered organic revenue growth of $6.7 billion. The successful execution of our All Products, All Markets strategy has created an attractive set of opportunities that continue our focus on essential growth by way of product expansion across our entire multi-line portfolio.
Centene’s Medicaid product continues to win contracts in new and existing markets, further strengthening our Medicaid performance while focusing on organic growth, through margin, product, and geographic expansion. At year-end, we served approximately 1.8 million exchange members in 20 states, representing growth of approximately 20 percent year-over-year and ensuring our position as the nation’s number one insurer on the Health Insurance Marketplace. We expect continued membership growth in 2020 and beyond.
Our Medicare Advantage and D-SNP lines of business underpin our long-term growth. While we did not meet our expectations in this sector, our recent acquisition will serve as an important catalyst to accelerate our growth and performance. We have built and maintained a leadership position in long-term services and supports, the fastest-growing segment of the industry. The scale of our enterprise enables further international expansion without compromising our ability to pursue growth opportunities in the U.S. Our strategic investments are introducing integrated care models and modernizing international healthcare infrastructure.
Accretive M&A continued to supplement our organic growth in 2019. We have a successful track record of acquiring and integrating both large and small acquisitions, including Spain’s Ribera Salud Group and domestic health plans Health Net and Fidelis. Each transaction has added expertise across the enterprise to better combine our assets and improve our competitive position.
Centene is positioned to:
- Continue building organic growth
- Advance strategic M&A in the U.S. and international markets
- Continue our successful track record of integrating large acquisitions
CONTINUOUS OPERATIONAL ENHANCEMENTS
For years, operational and technological advancements have been a differentiator and catalyst for Centene’s growth. We are focused on enabling and accelerating margin expansion through key operational investments, efficiency initiatives – including Centene Forward – and strengthening our internal team. Centene Forward is not confined to a single short-term program or initiative, but is a continual refinement across people, processes, and systems. Harnessing the latest tools, including data analytics and machine learning, enables us to collaborate across the enterprise to improve clinical outcomes.
As an operational enhancement, Centene University is a tangible example of our commitment to our people. We challenge ourselves to increase our capabilities through professional development, virtual learning, and continuous improvement programs. Centene’s corporate learning center, Centene University, provides multiple avenues for employees to explore learning opportunities and career development options. In its first six months, Centene University had nearly 1.4 million visitors, and in 2019, our director-level employees and above participated in our Centene University Leadership Development Program. Additionally, enterprise-wide career development is active and ongoing, helping to build, broaden, and accelerate the development of our human capital.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND REPUTATIONAL CAPITAL
Our local model approach goes beyond healthcare as we work to improve the lives and health of our members while developing strong and vibrant communities. As a company that believes in transforming the health of communities, we are proud of the positive contributions we have made to the areas we serve, and where our employees live, work, and play.
At Centene, corporate social responsibility is not a single program or initiative, but a set of pillars that guide our interactions with friends and neighbors. A key pillar of our value-based program is corporate governance, the ability to conduct business in an ethical and responsible manner. The strongest board of directors is one that reflects diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experience. As part of our ongoing efforts, we refreshed our board this year with the addition of retired four-star Air Force General Lori J. Robinson. With the close of the recent transaction, we also welcomed James Dallas and William Trubeck to Centene’s Board of Directors. Dallas has more than 30 years of experience with information technology, while Trubeck brings strong financial audit and compliance expertise.
As we look ahead to 2020 and beyond, we will continue to leverage our competitive advantages, build on our momentum, and transform the health of our communities, one person at a time. Centene has proven that we are successful managers of an ever-evolving industry and political landscape. As such, we will continue to advocate for strong public policy and are confident that we will continue to achieve our objectives.
Finally, our success is a testament to the commitment and tireless efforts of our people. I want to thank the more than 64,000 talented individuals at Centene whose commitment to hard work enables us to deliver better health outcomes at lower costs.
The tremendous growth we saw this year would not be possible without shareholder support of our strategy, mission, and values, and we thank you for choosing to invest in Centene. We are proud to have earned your trust in our company and look forward to working with our shareholders, and all of our stakeholders, as we enter the next decade.
MICHAEL F. NEIDORFF
- Chairman, President, & Chief Executive Officer