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WBMD > SEC Filings for WBMD > Form 10-Q on 8-Aug-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for WEBMD HEALTH CORP.



Quarterly Report

ITEM 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

This Item 2 contains forward-looking statements with respect to possible events, outcomes or results that are, and are expected to continue to be, subject to risks, uncertainties and contingencies. See "Forward-Looking Statements" on page iii above. The results of operations for the periods reflected in this Quarterly Report are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for future periods, and our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in our forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including but not limited to those listed under "Risk Factors" in Part II, Item 1A of this Quarterly Report, those discussed in this Item 2 and those included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report. In this Item 2, dollar amounts (other than per share amounts) are stated in thousands, unless otherwise noted.


Management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations, or MD&A, is provided as a supplement to the Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report and is intended to provide an understanding of our results of operations, financial condition and changes in our results of operations and financial condition. Our MD&A is organized as follows:

Introduction. This section provides: a general description of our company and its business; background information on certain trends, transactions and other developments affecting our company; and a discussion of how seasonal factors may impact the timing of our revenue.

Critical Accounting Estimates and Policies. This section discusses those accounting policies that are considered important to the evaluation and reporting of our financial condition and results of operations, and whose application requires us to exercise subjective and often complex judgments in making estimates and assumptions. In addition, all of our significant accounting policies, including our critical accounting policies, are summarized in Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (which we refer to as the SEC).

Results of Operations and Supplemental Financial and Operating Information. These sections provide our analysis and outlook for the significant line items on our statements of operations, as well as other information that we deem meaningful to understand our results of operations on a consolidated basis.

Liquidity and Capital Resources. This section provides an analysis of our liquidity and cash flows, as well as a discussion of our commitments that existed as of June 30, 2014.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements. This section provides a summary of the most recent authoritative accounting standards and guidance that have either been recently adopted by our company or may be adopted in the future.


Our Company. WebMD Health Corp. is a Delaware corporation that was incorporated on May 3, 2005. We completed an initial public offering on September 28, 2005. Our Common Stock trades under the symbol "WBMD" on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Our Business. We are a leading provider of health information services to consumers, physicians and other healthcare professionals, employers and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms and health-focused publications. The WebMD Health Network includes:, our primary public portal for consumers and related mobile-optimized sites and mobile apps;, our primary public portal for physicians and other healthcare professionals and related mobile services; and other sites through which we provide our branded health and wellness content, tools and services. Our services for consumers enable them to obtain information on health and wellness topics or on a particular disease or

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condition, to assess their personal health status, to use online trackers, tools and quizzes, to locate physicians, to receive periodic e-mailed newsletters and alerts on topics of individual interest, and to participate in online communities with peers and experts. Our services for physicians and healthcare professionals make it easier for them to access clinical reference sources, stay abreast of the latest clinical information, learn about new treatment options, earn continuing medical education (which we refer to as CME) credit and communicate with peers. We do not charge any usage, membership or download fees for access to our public portals or mobile platforms. We generate revenue from our public portals and mobile platforms primarily through the sale of various types of advertising and sponsorship programs to our clients, which include:
pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies; hospitals, clinics and other healthcare services companies; health insurance providers; consumer products companies whose products or services relate to health, wellness, diet, fitness, lifestyle, safety and illness prevention; and various other businesses, organizations and governmental entities. Advertisers and sponsors use our services to reach, educate and inform target audiences of consumers, physicians and other healthcare professionals. We also generate revenue from advertising sold in WebMD Magazine, a consumer magazine distributed to physician office waiting rooms. In addition, we generate revenue from the sale of certain information products.

Our private portals are a cloud-based population health management platform, hosted by WebMD and provided to private and governmental employers and health plans for use by their employees and plan participants. We market these private portals and related services under the WebMD Health Services brand. The WebMD Health Services platform enables employers and health plans to provide their employees and plan participants with access to personalized health and benefit information, including an online personal health record application. Our WebMD Health Services solutions include a comprehensive set of decision support and transparency tools that help their employees and plan participants understand the financial implications of their benefits options and make more informed benefits-related purchase decisions and also provide access to information and services that can help them factor quality and cost into decisions about care and treatment options. We also provide telephonic, online and onsite health coaching and targeted condition management programs for use by our private portals clients' employees and plan participants to help them make healthier lifestyle choices and achieve their wellness goals. We generate revenue from subscriptions to our WebMD Health Services platform by employers and health plans, either directly or through its distributors. In addition, we offer our health coaching services and our condition management programs on a per participant basis.

Background Information on Certain Trends and Developments Affecting Our Business. Key trends and developments affecting the use of healthcare information services of the types we provide or are developing and our ability to generate revenue from those services include the following:

Use of the Internet by Consumers and Physicians. The Internet has emerged as a major communications medium and has fundamentally changed many sectors of the economy, including the marketing and sales of financial services, travel, and entertainment, among others. The Internet is also changing the healthcare industry and has transformed how consumers and physicians find and utilize healthcare information.

- Healthcare consumers increasingly seek to educate themselves online about their healthcare-related issues, motivated by the desire to become better informed patients and to become more engaged healthcare consumers because of the larger share of healthcare costs they are being asked to bear due to changes in the benefit designs being offered by health plans and employers. The Internet has fundamentally changed the way consumers obtain health and wellness information, enabling them to have immediate access to searchable information and dynamic interactive content to check symptoms, understand diseases, find providers and evaluate treatment options.

- The Internet has become a primary source of information for physicians and other healthcare professionals seeking to improve clinical practice and to interact with their peers. The Internet has also become one of the primary means for physicians and other healthcare professionals to obtain CME and CE.

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Online Marketing and Education Spending for Healthcare Products. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies spend large amounts each year marketing their products and educating consumers and physicians about them; however, only a small portion is currently spent on online services. We believe that these companies, which comprise the most significant advertisers and sponsors of our public portals, are aware of the effectiveness of the Internet relative to traditional media in providing health, clinical and product-related information to consumers and physicians. In addition, in an effort to improve operating efficiencies, some pharmaceutical companies have been reducing their field sales forces in the past several years. However, notwithstanding our general expectation for increased future demand, we cannot predict the extent or the pace of any shift by pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies of their marketing expenditures to online services. Furthermore, our advertising and sponsorship revenue may vary significantly from quarter to quarter due to a number of other factors, many of which are outside our control, including general economic and regulatory conditions and the following:

- The majority of our advertising and sponsorship contracts are for terms of approximately four to twelve months. We have relatively few longer term advertising and sponsorship contracts.

- The time between the date of initial contact with a potential advertiser or sponsor regarding a specific program and the execution of a contract with the advertiser or sponsor for that program, as well as the additional time period before our services are delivered, may be longer than expected, especially for medium-sized and larger contracts, and may be subject to delays over which we have little or no control, including as a result of budgetary constraints of the advertiser or sponsor or their need for internal approvals, including internal approvals relating to compliance with the laws and regulations applicable to the marketing of healthcare products. We have experienced, from time to time, a lengthening of this internal review process by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, which has resulted in delays in contracting, as well as delays in recognizing expected revenue under executed contracts and which may continue to cause such delays.

Other factors that may affect the timing of contracting for specific programs with advertisers and sponsors, or receipt of revenue under such contracts, include: the timing of Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") approval for new products or for new approved uses for existing products; the timing of FDA approval of generic products that compete with existing brand name products and any increase in the number or significance of such approvals or of withdrawals of products from the market; consolidation of companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; the timing of roll-outs of new or enhanced services on our public portals; seasonal factors relating to the prevalence of specific health conditions and other seasonal factors that may affect the timing of promotional campaigns for specific products; and the scheduling of conferences for physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Other Factors Affecting the Demand for Our Advertising and Sponsorship Services. Some of our pharmaceutical company customers have experienced patent expirations for certain of their products in the past several years and some are expected to experience patent expirations over the next several years. In the pharmaceutical industry, patent expirations allow for competition from lower-priced generic versions of the patented drugs and generally result in the termination of marketing efforts for the drug. We believe that patent expirations led to significant overall reductions in marketing, selling and educational expenditures by some pharmaceutical companies in 2012 across their entire product portfolios. Amounts budgeted for online advertising increased for some of our biopharmaceutical customers in 2013, although we cannot predict if that will continue. In addition to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, our public portals advertisers and sponsors include consumer products companies, particularly for products and services that relate to health, wellness, diet, fitness, lifestyle, safety and illness prevention. Revenues from consumer products companies are more likely to reflect general economic conditions, and to be reduced to a greater extent during economic downturns, than revenues from pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. Accordingly, revenues from these customers may be subject to significant quarter-to-quarter variations.

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Our advertising and sponsorship services are subject to competition from numerous alternatives, including other Internet sites that focus on health-related content, Internet search engines, social media Internet sites, general interest consumer sites and traditional media. Such competition may result in smaller customer commitments or pressure to reduce prices, both of which could reduce our revenues and profit margins. In response to changes in the preferences of our advertisers and sponsors, particularly our pharmaceutical company clients, we modified our sales and product approach to offer services that can be executed more quickly and we have simplified our products and pricing. We believe this has allowed our clients to better compare our services, and the value they provide, to other digital alternatives. We have also been investing in more robust data and analytics capabilities to provide our customers with new value measurements and insights through proprietary analytics tools.

Traffic Trends. In the second quarter of 2014, The WebMD Health Network reached an average of approximately 179 million monthly unique visitors and delivered approximately 3.5 billion page views during the quarter, increases of 43% and 31%, respectively, over the prior year period. Traffic to our online portals for physicians and other healthcare professionals averaged approximately 6.1 million physician sessions per month in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of approximately 11% over the prior year period. One factor that had significantly reduced traffic, in the first half of 2013, to some of the consumer sites in The WebMD Health Network (other than, our flagship site) was changes in Google's algorithms and other processes that lowered the ranking of those sites in Google search results. Starting in July 2013, we began to see a reversal of that trend. We intend to continue our efforts to increase our page views by providing quality content and tools, as well as by designing our Websites to deliver that content and tools in ways that will cause them to rank well in algorithmic search engine results (which is commonly referred to as search engine optimization or SEO). However, we cannot be certain that our SEO efforts will result in continued improvement or, if they do, how long that will be maintained.

Consumers and healthcare professionals are increasingly using smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to access the Internet, with physicians increasingly using mobile devices during treatment at the point of care. Accordingly, the portion of our page views from mobile devices has increased rapidly in the past several years as usage has increased on mobile devices, and increased utilization of our mobile offerings was the primary driver of our traffic growth in the second quarter of 2014. During the second quarter of 2014, approximately 29% of our page views came from a U.S. personal computer (or PC); approximately 36% came from a U.S. smartphone; approximately 8% came from a U.S. tablet device; and approximately 27% came from non-U.S. sources. However, when engaging with our health and wellness content and tools, users continue to rely on the larger screen size of a PC or tablet for many of their activities and we have seen the number of unique visitors to our U.S. PC-based offerings continue to grow. Combined U.S. PC and tablet page view traffic to The WebMD Health Network was up approximately 8% in the second quarter of 2014, as compared to the prior year period, with increased tablet page views, up 42%, and PC page views, up 1%, from the prior year period. Tablets provide a similar user experience to PCs and we are able to monetize them similarly, so we believe that combined page views from PCs and tablets is a useful metric.

Efforts to Increase Advertising and Sponsorship Revenue from Mobile. We remain focused on delivering a multi-screen platform that engages users on their personal computers, tablet devices and smartphones. Since we are able to monetize tablet page views similarly to PC page views, our mobile monetization efforts are focused on monetizing page views from smartphones and references to "mobile" and "mobile monetization" below are to smartphones and the page views they generate. As we broaden our mobile offerings for consumers and physicians, we are also expanding our mobile sponsorship products for advertisers. Mobile, while not yet a meaningful source of revenue for us, could be an important area of growth for the future and we view mobile monetization as an opportunity for incremental revenue. We are beginning to experience demand from customers for mobile advertising and to include mobile components in many of the program configurations that we offer to advertisers and sponsors. However, we are unable to predict when or to what extent such demand will increase. With

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respect to our mobile offerings for healthcare professionals, we are seeing some sales traction with advertisers for our mobile product set. Advertisements to consumers for biopharmaceutical products are subject to various regulatory requirements, including requirements to include certain specified information, that are more challenging to meet on the smaller smartphone screen size. Our pharmaceutical company clients are more advanced in their ability to utilize our mobile platform to reach healthcare professionals, and we are seeing a more significant demand from them for these programs than for utilizing mobile to reach consumers.

As discussed under "- Traffic Trends" above, the portion of our page views from smartphones has increased rapidly in the past several years. However, we have not experienced a migration of our audience away from our PC-based offerings in favor of mobile and we expect to have more than enough PC and tablet page view inventory on The WebMD Health Network to meet the expected demand from advertisers and sponsors for our services for 2014. If, in the future, users access our services through smartphones as a substitute for access through personal computers and tablets (or if our page views from personal computers and tablets decline for other reasons) and we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for smartphone traffic, our financial results could be negatively affected.

Use of Population Health Management Services. In a healthcare market where a greater share of the responsibility for healthcare costs and decision-making has been shifting to consumers, use of information technology to assist consumers in making informed decisions about healthcare has also increased. We believe that, through our WebMD Health Services private portals and related coaching services, we are well positioned to play a role in this environment. For more than a decade, our cloud-based population health management services have helped employers and health plans improve the health of their employee and plan participant populations and reduce healthcare costs. Our services help employees and plan participants make more informed health and benefit decisions, positively change health behaviors, manage health conditions and lead healthier lives. At the beginning of 2014, we launched our WebMD Health Services platform for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (or FEP). With this program, over 5 million FEP members now have access to a broad range of our WebMD Health Services solutions, including our online personal health record application, as well as to our health coaching services, and to around-the-clock access to nurses by phone, secure message, or chat. Our strategy depends, in part, on increasing usage of our services by our employer and health plan clients' employees and plan participants and being able to demonstrate a sufficient return on investment and other benefits for our clients from those services. Increasing such usage requires us to continue to develop new and updated applications, features and services. In addition, we face competition for our online population health management applications and related coaching services. Many of our competitors have greater financial, technical, product development, marketing and other resources than we do, and may be better known than we are.

International. The WebMD Health Network includes the following international sites: the co-branded Boots WebMD health information site for United Kingdom consumers at; and Medscape France ( and Medscape Germany (, our physician portals in those two countries. We also seek to monetize traffic to Medscape from physicians outside the United States. We plan to continue to pursue opportunities to expand the reach of our brands outside the United States. In certain markets outside the United States, we expect to accomplish this through partnerships or joint ventures with other companies having expertise in the specific country or region, while in other such markets we expect to rely primarily on our own internal resources. In May 2014, we announced a collaboration between Medscape and DXY, the largest online community for healthcare professionals in China, that will enable Medscape to distribute educational programs to physicians and healthcare professionals in China through the site.

Healthcare Reform Legislation. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (which we refer to as the Affordable Care Act), was signed into law in March 2010. The Affordable Care Act has made extensive changes to the system

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of healthcare insurance and benefits in the United States. While we do not currently anticipate any significant adverse effects on WebMD as a direct result of the application of the Affordable Care Act to our business or on our company in its capacity as an employer, we are unable to predict what the future indirect impacts of the Affordable Care Act will be on WebMD's business through its effects on other healthcare industry participants, including pharmaceutical and medical device companies that are advertisers and sponsors of our public portals and employers and health plans that are clients of our private portals. However, the Affordable Care Act has also created certain opportunities for WebMD's consumer portals as health insurers seek to market their services directly to consumers in connection with the insurance exchanges set up pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. In addition, we believe that certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act and related regulations that seek to reduce healthcare costs may create opportunities for WebMD, including with respect to our personal health record applications and health and benefits decision-support tools and, more generally, with respect to our capabilities in providing health and wellness information and education. For example, the Affordable Care Act encourages use of wellness programs through grants to small employers to establish such programs, permission for employers to offer larger rewards than under prior law, in the form of waivers of cost-sharing, premium discounts, or additional benefits, to employees for participating in these programs and meeting certain standards, and the inclusion of wellness services and chronic disease management among the essential health benefits that certain plans are required to provide. However, we cannot yet determine the scope of the other opportunities that the Affordable Care Act may create or what competition we may face in our efforts to pursue such opportunities.

Other Initiatives. We are pursuing, and intend to continue to identify, new business opportunities where our consumer and physician audiences and our resources can be leveraged to develop additional products and services. Examples of initiatives we are working on include the following:

- In June 2014, we launched WebMD Healthy Target, an integrated health improvement program available within WebMD's flagship mobile app for iPhone. WebMD Healthy Target uses biometric device data from activity trackers, wireless scales and glucose meters to deliver contextually relevant content and motivational tips to individuals looking to develop sustainable health-conscious habits. WebMD Healthy Target provides valuable assistance to individuals looking to manage chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes and obesity, as well as to a broader audience interested in achieving their fitness goals or more generally living a healthier lifestyle.

- We expect to introduce services later this year or in early 2015 that will allow healthcare consumers to manage their health information in one place, including medical records, laboratory results, biometric device data, claims information and other third-party data, and will link consumers with providers across the healthcare industry, including physicians, hospitals, laboratories and pharmacies, allowing them to communicate and share data in a secure environment.

We may pursue initiatives to create new or enhanced revenue streams or, alternatively, to increase audience engagement even when we have not identified any potential related revenue stream. New business initiatives present risks and challenges that may be different than the ones we have faced in the past. In addition, later events may alter the risks that were evaluated at the time decisions are made on specific initiatives. Failure to effectively identify and assess new business initiatives and to successfully implement them may adversely affect our company and its prospects.

The healthcare industry in the United States and relationships among healthcare payers, providers and consumers are very complicated. In addition, the Internet and the market for online and mobile services are relatively new and still evolving. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the trends identified above will continue or that the expected benefits to our business from our responses to those trends will be achieved. In addition, the market for healthcare information services is highly competitive and not only are our existing competitors seeking to benefit from these same trends, but the trends may also attract additional competitors.

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Background Information on Certain Significant Developments and Transactions

Tender Offers. On September 10, 2013, we completed a tender offer (which we . . .

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