Insurer WellPoint’s 1Q profit climbs nearly 6 pct

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — WellPoint says its first-quarter net income rose nearly 6 percent, as the health insurer trimmed expenses and saw enrollment grow by more than 360,000 people.

The largest publicly traded health insurer based on enrollment says it earned $926.6 million, or $2.44 per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That’s up from $876.8 million, or $1.96 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue fell slightly to $14.89 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet forecast a profit of $1.89 per share on $14.65 billion in revenue.

WellPoint says enrollment grew 1 percent compared to last year’s quarter mainly due to national accounts it administers for large employers.

The Indianapolis company operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states, including California, New York and Ohio.

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