Insurer WellPoint's 1Q profit falls 21 pct

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Associated Press

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 30 at 4:03 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — WellPoint says its first-quarter earnings fell 21 percent, but they topped Wall Street expectations. The nation's second-largest health insurer once again raised its 2014 forecast.

The Indianapolis company says it earned $701 million, or $2.40 per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That's down from $885.2 million, or $2.89 per share, in last year's quarter. Earnings excluding one-time items totaled $2.30 per share.

Operating revenue climbed slightly to $17.64 billion. That excludes investment gains or losses.

Analysts expected earnings of $2.10 per share on $17.95 billion in revenue.

WellPoint Inc. now expects 2014 adjusted earnings to be greater than $8.40 per share. Analysts had forecast $8.41 per share.

The insurer runs Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states, including California and New York.

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