Updated Aug 3, 2018

Health care industry on track for massive profits

Business is booming for health care companies. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

With more than a week to go in the second-quarter earnings season, the health care industry has already banked more profits than any other quarter in the past year.

The bottom line: Company after company has posted profits that have exceeded Wall Street estimates, and most firms have raised profit estimates for the rest of 2018.

By the numbers: As of Aug. 2, 85 publicly traded health care companies have amassed $47 billion of global profit on $545 billion of global revenue in the second quarter, according to company documents.

  • That profit is higher than the $45.6 billion that 118 health care companies posted in the first quarter of this year, and it's higher than anything recorded in the past year.
  • Pharmaceutical companies continue to rake in the highest profit margins.
  • The numbers do not include not-for-profit hospital systems, which have not filed second-quarter reports yet.
  • Fatter profits are due in part to growing sales of prescription drugs, medical devices, tests and procedures — that reflects both higher prices and more quantities sold.
  • But the larger earnings also stemmed from Republicans' massive cut in corporate taxes. The income tax expense for drug giant AbbVie, for example, was 93% lower in the second quarter this year.

Go deeper: Check out the entire Axios health care earnings tracker.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 855,007 — Total deaths: 42,032 — Total recoveries: 176,714.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 186,265 — Total deaths: 3,810 — Total recoveries: 6,910.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful" on Tuesday, with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans. The White House and other institutions are observing several models to help prepare for when COVID-19 is expected to peak in the U.S.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

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Paying rent in a pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For many people who've lost jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic, tomorrow presents a stressful decision: Do you pay your rent or mortgage?

Why it matters: The new CARES Act that was signed by President Trump on Friday protects homeowners and renters who are suffering from the response to the coronavirus pandemic — but it's not “a one-size-fits-all policy rulebook,” a congressional aide tells Axios.

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