WellPoint Health Networks Inc. reported a 22% increase in fourth-quarter earnings as membership in its health-care plans rose. The Woodland Hills-based managed-care company reported profit from operations of $58.5 million, or 88 cents a share, up from $47.8 million, or 72 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. In the most recent quarter, charges of $11.5 million, or 17 cents a share, for costs associated with a cash dividend paid in May resulted in net income of $47 million, or 71 cents. In the year-earlier quarter, charges of $34.5 million, or 52 cents, made net income $13.3 million, or 20 cents. WellPoint was expected to earn 66 cents a share. Shares rose $1.625 to close at $38.875 on NYSE.
WellPoint Reports Quarterly Profit Up 22%
Times Staff and Wire Reports