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eHealth Shares Rise 25% After Achieving 100% Increase in Quarterly Medicare Advantage Sales

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Online medical exchange operator eHealth Inc.'s shares traded higher after the firm reported preliminary financial results for Q4/19 and FY/19. The company advised that both quarterly and annual revenues exceeded prior estimates.

Private online health insurance exchange operator eHealth Inc. (EHTH:NASDAQ) yesterday announced preliminary, unaudited financial results and select operating metrics for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. The firm advised that the preliminary financial results and selected operating metrics are based upon management's initial review of operations in Q4/19 and FY/19 according to the best available data as of January 23, 2020.

The company reported that for Q4/19 it expects revenue to be in the range of $257.5-259.5 million including Medicare segment revenue in the range of $239-240.5 million. In the same corresponding period, the firm expects GAAP net income in the range of $53-$55 million and adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $98.5-100.5 million.

The firm indicated that for FY/19 it expects revenue to be in the range of $462-464 million compared to previous guidance of $365-385 million including Medicare segment revenue expected in the range of $403.5-405 million compared to prior guidance of $318-333 million. For the full-year, the firm expects GAAP net income to be in the range of $31-33 million, compared to the company's guidance of $20.9-25.9 million and adjusted EBITDA for FY/19 is expected to be in the range of $89-$91 million, compared to the company's guidance of $65-70 million.

The firm indicated that the number of approved members for all Medicare products grew 88% during Q4/19 when compared to Q4/18. The company highlighted that its Medicare Advantage products grew 100% over the same time period. The company added that for full-year 2019, the number of approved members for all Medicare products grew 81% compared 2018 with approved members for Medicare Advantage products growing 88% over the same time period.

The company's CEO Scott Flanders commented, "I am proud of our achievements in 2019. After raising our guidance twice in the past year, we significantly exceeded our financial and operating targets driven by consistently strong execution throughout the year. 2019 culminated with an exceptional performance by our team during the fourth quarter Medicare annual enrollment period. Our marketing and business development organizations drove record consumer demand to the eHealth platform allowing us to grow fourth quarter approved Medicare members in excess of 85%...We remain excited about the Medicare market opportunity and significant growth potential ahead of us and are looking forward to sharing our outlook for 2020 as part of our fourth quarter earnings release next month."

The company describes its business as a leading private online health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from brand-name insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online or by phone. eHealth (www.ehealthinsurance.com) is licensed to sell health insurance through its subsidiaries in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, the firm offers educational resources, telephone support, and online and pharmacy-based tools to help Medicare beneficiaries navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online or over the phone through Medicare.com (www.Medicare.com), eHealthMedicare.com (www.eHealthMedicare.com), GoMedigap (www.goMedigap.com) and PlanPrescriber.com (www.PlanPrescriber.com).

eHealth started the day with a market capitalization of around $2.2 billion with approximately 23.1 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 16.7%. EHTH shares opened nearly 19% higher today at $115.44 (+$18.31, +18.85%) compared to yesterday's closing price of $97.13 and established a new 52-week intraday high price today of $130.00. The stock has traded today between $110.92 and $130.00 per share and is currently trading at $122.55 (+$25.41, +26.16%).

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