WellPoint Inc (WLP) Beats Earnings Estimates

WellPoint Inc (WLP) Beats Earnings Estimates
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WellPoint Inc (NYSE:WLP) released the results from its first quarter this morning, beating its own guidance and posting adjusted earnings of $2.30 per share on revenue of $17.65 billion. Analysts had been expecting the insurance provider to report earnings per share of $2.14 on $17.96 billion in revenue. The company’s net income was $2.40 per share, including net gains of 10 cents per share.

Breaking down WellPoint’s results

In the same quarter a year ago, WellPoint Inc (NYSE:WLP) reported net income of $2.89 per share, including net investment losses of about 5 cents per share. Excluding items, adjusted net income in last year’s first quarter was $2.94 a share, making this year’s result a 21.8% year over year decline.

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WellPoint Inc (NYSE:WLP) said medical enrollment rose by 1.3 million members—a 3.6% increase—quarter over quarter. At the end of March, the company had about 36.9 million members. WellPoint reported that its Commercial and Specialty Business segment recorded an increase of 1.2 million members as it posted growth in National, Local Group and Individual subscribers. The company also saw growth in Medicaid and FEP, which was partially offset by a 62,000 member decline in Medicare members.

WellPoint guides for 2014

WellPoint Inc (NYSE:WLP) management said they’re now expecting full year adjusted earnings per share to be more than $8.40. The insurance provider is now expecting medical enrollment growth of between 1.3 million and 1.4 million for the full year. The company projects full year GAAP net income of more than $8.50 per share, including the 10 cents per share positive impact from the first quarter.

The company’s board of directors has declined a second quarter dividend of 43.75 cents per share. This amounts to an annualized dividend of $1.75 per share. WellPoint Inc (NYSE:WLP) will pay the second quarter dividend on June 25 to shareholders of record on June 10. During the first quarter, the company repurchased almost 14.3 million common shares or 4.9% of outstanding shares as of the end of December, for nearly $1.3 billion.

WellPoint Inc (NYSE:WLP) listed its 1-800 CONTACTS division under discontinued operations, as the insurance provider divested the subsidiary and related assets. The transactions were finished on Jan. 31.

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