Manhattan Research estimates that 72% of doctors in the country currently own smartphones. This number is projected to rise to 80% by 2012. The research also estimates that among physicians, the smartphone is primarily used to look up prescription drug information at the point of patient care. The growing demand of mobile-based services is driving mobile initiatives of medical information providing companies.
WebMD’s (NASDAQ:WBMD) Q1 revenues grew 22% over the year to $131.6 million. By segment, public portal advertising and sponsorship revenues grew 28% over the year to $110.4 million driven by 19% growth in average unique users per month. For the quarter, their network reached a record average of 97.7 million unique users per month. Total traffic to their site grew 14% over the year to 2.05 billion page views during the quarter. Private portal services fell 2% over the year to $21.2 million.
For the year, they are projecting revenues of $610 million to $640 million with income from operations to be at $1.28 to $1.45 per share. The current quarter revenues are projected to be more than $140 million with income from operations to be over 8% of revenue.
WebMD’s Mobile Initiatives
WebMD continued their mobile initiatives and recently launched their leading consumer health app on the Android platform. WebMD’s iPhone and iPad app are already immensely popular. They recorded over 5 million downloads on the iPhone and iPad platform since its launch. They are hoping to register similar growth in the Android space. Their Android app will help consumers with their decision-making and health improvement efforts by providing 24/7 access to their health information and offering decision-support tools. The app also incorporates voice-activated search.
The stock is trading at $48.08 with a market capitalization of $2.8 billion. It touched a 52-week high of $58.55 in May of this year.
Epocrates (NASDAQ:EPOC) saw revenues grow 20% over the year to $24.3 million. Revenue growth was driven by 8% growth in subscription business and 24% growth in interactive services businesses. For the quarter, loss per share was $0.08 per share compared with the loss of $0.12 per share reported a year ago.
For the year, 2011 revenues are projected to be in the range of $122 million to $125 million with net income of $0.12 to $0.15 per share.
Epocrates’s Mobile Leadership
Epocrates continued to expand their mobile leadership in the healtchare vertical and announced the launch of a new mobile drug sampling service, Mobile Sample Closet. The service has already been offered to leading pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, Forest Laboratories, and others. Through the service, Epocrates’ network of more than 315,000 physicians will receive sample offers from these providers on their mobile devices. Besides drug samples, the sponsoring companies will also be able to provide physicians access to patient starter kits, vouchers, and educational material.
The stock is trading at $19.63 with a market capitalization of $462 million. It reached a high of $30.24 in February.