Company now forecasts full year GAAP EPS growth in a range of 4 to 8
INDIANAPOLIS, March 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) today announced that it now expects full year 2008 net income to be in the range of $5.76 to $6.01 per share, assuming net realized investment gains of approximately $0.06 per share, which is a revision from the previous forecast of $6.41 per share. This revised growth outlook represents an increase of approximately 4 to 8 percent over net income of $5.56 per share reported for the year ended December 31, 2007.
Net income for first quarter ending March 31, 2008, is now expected to be in the range of $1.16 to $1.26 per share, assuming net realized investment gains of approximately $0.06 per share, compared with the prior forecast of $1.44 per share and the $1.26 per share reported for the first quarter of 2007.
"We are making these revisions to our prior earnings guidance due to higher than expected medical costs, lower than expected fully insured enrollment and, to a lesser extent, the changing economic environment in which we are operating," said Angela F. Braly, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint, Inc. "While we are disappointed with having to revise our 2008 outlook, we are still expecting growth this year, with record levels of membership, revenue and earnings per share. We are taking actions and making investments in our business to further improve our performance during the balance of this year and beyond."
The revision in full year 2008 earnings guidance is primarily
attributable to the following areas:
-- Higher Than Expected Medical Costs. The Company incurred higher-than-
expected medical costs during the first two months of 2008 and has
revised its full year outlook for Individual and Local Group fully
insured medical cost trends to a range of 8.0 percent, plus or minus 50<
|SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.|
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