IBJNews

WellPoint's first-quarter profit soars above expectations

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

WellPoint Inc.’s first-quarter profit improved modestly, but soared above the expectations of Wall Street analysts.

The Indianapolis-based health insurer responded by boosting its full-year profit forecast by 40 cents per share.

WellPoint earned $926.6 million, or $2.44 per share, in the three months ended March 31. That marks a 5.7 percent increase in profit over the same quarter last year.

Excluding investment gains and special items, WellPoint’s profit rose 2.2 percent to $891 million, or $2.35 per share.

On that basis, analysts were expecting $1.87 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. A year ago, WellPoint earned $1.95 per share, excluding special charges.

Much of the per-share profit increase is due to WellPoint’s share repurchase program, which reduced its shares outstanding by 15 percent in the past year.

Revenue for the quarter fell 1.2 percent compared to a year ago, to $14.9 billion.

“Our membership and earnings results are higher than we originally anticipated and we are continuing to become a more efficient and effective company,”  WellPoint CEO Angela Braly said in a statement.

Indeed, WellPoint added 875,000 new members to its health plans in the first quarter, seeing growth across all business lines except individual policies.

The company had 34.2 million members on March 31, and now predicts it will hold on to more of them during the year, finishing 2011 with 33.9 million members.

For the year, WellPoint now expects earnings per share of $6.70, compared with a February forecast of $6.30 per share.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

ADVERTISEMENT