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WellCare stock soars on news of quadrupled earnings

Shares in WellCare Health Plans surged nearly 12 percent Friday after the Tampa company blew past analysts' estimates in reporting that its first-quarter earnings quadrupled. WellCare, which provides managed-care services for government-sponsored plans, said it earned $21.3 million, or 50 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, up from $6.4 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago. Its adjusted net income was 66 cents a share, about three times what analysts were expecting. Revenue rose 8 percent to $1.47 billion, up from $1.36 billion a year ago. WellCare also ratcheted up its forecast for the full year, predicting earnings of $3.35 to $3.65 per share, up from a prior forecast of $2.45 to $2.70 per share. The strong performance was tethered to a huge membership gain in WellCare's Medicare prescription drug plans compared to a year ago as the company recovered from sanctions previously imposed by the federal government. Wellcare's stock closed at $47.93 a share Friday, up $4.89.

WellCare stock soars on news of quadrupled earnings 05/06/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 7:22pm]
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