WellPoint Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. WellPoint is a health benefits company which offers a spectrum of network-based managed care plans to employers, individuals, and seniors.

WellPoint, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.11 per share, a decline of 16.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.17. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.11 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $7.09 per share, a rise of 5.2% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 11 cents, reporting profit of $1.77 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.66 per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 6.9% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $15.41 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 15 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and five rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 7.6% to $683.2 million ($1.90 a share) from $739.1 million ($1.84 a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 5.5% to $15.4 billion from $14.6 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income fall in each of the last two quarters. Net income dropped 2.9% in the second quarter.

The company’s revenue has risen for two straight quarters. In the second quarter, the figure rose 4.5%.

Competitors to Watch: CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM), Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT), HealthSpring, Inc (NYSE:HS), Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH), Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), and Triple-S Management Corp. (NYSE:GTS).

Stock Price Performance: During December 19, 2011 to January 19, 2012, the stock price had risen $8.29 (13%) from $63.64 to $71.93. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 30, 2011 and January 11, 2012 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 9.5% (+$6.32) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 21, 2011 and August 2, 2011 when shares fell for nine-straight days, falling 14.3% (-$10.63) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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