WellPoint, Indianapolis, saw its first-quarter profits more than double, citing the effects of its $16.4 billion merger and strong membership gains. Last November Anthem acquired larger rival WellPoint Health Networks and changed its name to WellPoint. In its first full quarter since the acquisition, the insurer posted net income of $611.7 million, or $1.97 per share, compared with $295.6 million, or $2.08 per share, a year earlier. Operating revenue rose 145% to $11 billion, as enrollment climbed 78% to 28.5 million members. All 2004 numbers reflect the results of Anthem only. On a comparable basis -- which includes the 2004 results of both companies -- first-quarter operating revenue rose 9%, or about $883 million, from $10.1 billion a year earlier. Enrollment rose 5%, or by almost 1.5 million members, from 27 million members at March 31, 2004. WellPoint also announced a 2-for-1 stock split for all shareholders of record on May 13, and raised its 2005 earnings projection to $7.94 per share, from a previous forecast of $7.75 per share. -- by Laura B. Benko
WellPoint sees profits double since Anthem merger
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