Jul 29, 2021 - Health

What to know about the health care industry's Q2 earnings

View of Pfizer World Headquarters on March 23, 2021 in New York
View of Pfizer World Headquarters on March 23, 2021 in New York. Photo: john Smith/VIEWpress

UnitedHealth Group, HCA Healthcare and Pfizer have been the most notable health care companies to post Q2 earnings so far, but this week has been chock-full of others.

🏥 Hospitals: The second quarter for Universal Health Services was so profitable that it returned $189 million in federal coronavirus bailout funds. But executives cautioned higher COVID cases may lead to labor shortages.

🦿 Medical devices: People returning to hospitals means more sales for the companies that make hip implants, heart valves and other medical devices. Revenue and profits surged in a big way for Stryker and Boston Scientific.

🤕 Insurers: The increased use of all health care, and rising COVID cases, has led insurers to pay out more medical claims, which Humana said yesterday is leading to "uncertainty" and very conservative profit estimates for the back half of the year. Similar vibes from Centene and Molina.

💊 Pharma: Doctors are prescribing large volumes of cancer, heart and anti-inflammatory drugs, which led to sizable sales for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis.

🖥 Tech: The pandemic created an opening for telehealth to explode, but a slowdown really may be here. Teledoc's membership and virtual visits missed Wall Street's estimates, crushing the company's stock.

📈 Deals: Inovalon, a data analytics company used by almost every major health care company, nearly quintupled its profit in the second quarter. A private equity firm is now circling Inovalon, Bloomberg reports.

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