WellPoint Health Networks’ First-Quarter Profits Increase 53%
Officials for Thousand Oaks-based WellPoint Health Networks on Wednesday reported that the company's first-quarter profits increased 53% to $295.2 million, or $1.85 per share, from $193.1 million, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier, Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times reports (Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times, 4/22). First-quarter revenue increased 17% to $5.65 billion from $4.84 billion a year earlier, Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal reports. Aided by the acquisition of the Wisconsin-based insurer Cobalt in September, WellPoint's medical membership rose to 15.4 million from 14.2 million a year earlier. However, specialty membership, which is comprised mostly of pharmacy benefit management, dropped 6.8% from a year earlier to 45.9 million (Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, 4/22). WellPoint officials said that 2004 full-year profits would increase to $7.50 per share from $6.16 per share in 2003. WellPoint, California's largest health insurer, is being acquired by Indianapolis-based Anthem. The deal that is expected to close midyear (Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times, 4/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.