WellPoint Health Networks' third-quarter net income rose 28% as the Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based managed-care company saw membership growth in key markets and double-digit revenue growth.
WellPoint late Monday reported net income of $315.1 million, or $1.97 a share, up from $246.2 million, or $1.63 a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose 16% to $5.85 billion from $5.05 billion, paced by a 15% climb in revenue from premiums to $5.46 billion.
Membership in WellPoint's various health insurance plans was 15.6 million, up nearly 4% from a year earlier, boosted by gains in the company's key markets of California, Georgia and Texas. Specialty membership, which is primarily made up of WellPoint's pharmacy-benefit management operations and behavioral-health services, rose 4.5% to 46.8 million.
WellPoint also said its board approved an additional 2.7 million-share buyback, bringing its authorized share repurchase to 7.5 million shares.
A year ago, Indianapolis-based Anthem agreed to acquire WellPoint, but California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has blocked the $16 billion combination, saying it would benefit only the companies' executives, not California consumers. In August, Anthem filed a lawsuit challenging Garamendi's decision.