Wellpoint beats estimates for quarter

Wellpoint beat analysts’ expectations for the second quarter of 2006.

The health insurer reported an income of $751.2 million, or $1.17 per share, for the quarter, up 34 percent from $559.4 million, or 90 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2005.

Revenue increased to $14.2 billion, up nearly 27 percent, from $10.9 billion in the same quarter in 2005.

Premiums in the second quarter of 2006 rose 27 percent to $12.9 billion from $10.2 billion in the same quarter in 2005. Administrative fees also rose significantly at nearly 32 percent to $877 million from $664 million in the same period in 2005.

Operating cash flow appeared solid for the quarter at $201 million, or $2 billion for the six months ending June 30, 2006. However, the quarterly results were actually lower than the first quarter of 2006 due to anticipated income tax payments for $756 million.

Revenues for the first six months of 2006 were $27.6 billion, nearly 27 percent from $21.8 billion in the same period for 2005.
Enrollment for the quarter also increased to 34.2 million members, an increase of 5.3 million from 28.8 million in the same quarter of 2005.
Wellpoint also picked up 230,000 members in the second quarter of 2006 in its Medicare Part D plans.
During the second quarter of 2006, the company also repurchased 23.3 million shares of its common stock for $1.7 billion.
The company raised its third-quarter expectations to $1.22 per share and full-year net income expectations to $4.74 per share. Analysts were predicting third-quarter earnings at $1.19 per share and full-year earnings at $4.65 per share. — CINDY KIBBE

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