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WebMD -2.8% AH after pre-announcing Q4 results, issuing guidance

  • Ahead of a Tuesday Stifel conference talk, WebMD (WBMD) says it expects to report Q4 revenue of $145.5M-$146.5M and EPS of $0.23-$0.25, above a consensus of $144M and $0.17.
  • The company is also guiding for Q1 revenue of $130M-$133M (above a $122.5M consensus), and 2014 revenue of $545M-$575M (in-line with a $565M consensus). Full-year net income is expected to total $27M-$29M, up from 2013's $14.3M-$15.1M.
  • In addition, WebMD is adding $50M to its buyback program, raising its total available buyback funds to $70M. $211.3M was spent on buybacks in Q4.
  • The company strikes a cautious tone about its early 2014 performance, stating "the first five weeks of sales activity does not reflect year-on-year growth;" the Q1 revenue consensus is for 8.6% growth.
  • WebMD insists it doesn't think the weakness is reflective of a broader trend, and speculates it could partly be due to shifts in customer budgeting/buying patterns.
  • Official Q4 results are due on Feb. 20.
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