WellPoint Inc. Third Quarter Earnings on Horizon

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 26, 2011. 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 $1.66 per share, a decline of 4.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $1.65. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has risen during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $7.04 per share, a rise of 4.5% 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 4 cents, reporting profit of $1.83 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.79 per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $15.12 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 5.5% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $59.93 billion for the year, a rise of 3.6% from last year’s revenue of $57.84 billion.

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

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit fell 2.9% to $701.6 million ($1.89 a share) from $722.4 million ($1.71 a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 4.5% to $15.1 billion from $14.46 billion.

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue increase in the second quarter snapped a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 1.4% in the first quarter, 23.1% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 5.4% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

The decrease in profit in the second quarter came after net income rose in the previous quarter. In the first quarter, net income rose 5.7%.

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 August 24, 2011 to October 20, 2011, the stock price had risen $4.76 (7.9%) from $60.49 to $65.25. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 30, 2010 and January 12, 2011 when shares rose for 10-straight days, rising 9.4% (+$5.26) 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 14.4% (-$10.67) over that span. Shares are up $9.01 (+16%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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