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Insurer WellCare tops 2Q earnings expectations

July 30, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — WellCare topped second quarter expectations as the health insurer prepares for its combination with larger rival Centene.

The insurer, which focuses mostly on managing Medicaid coverage in several states, earned $182.8 million in the three-month period that ended June 30, a nearly 21% jump from last year’s quarter.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $4.31 per share.

The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $4.10 per share.

The insurer’s total revenue climbed 51% to $7.01 billion, also beating Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $6.61 billion.

Centene announced in March that it would spend more than $15 billion on Tampa, Florida-based WellCare Health Plans Inc. to dive deeper into government-funded health coverage. Centene Corp., based in St. Louis, has built its business around Medicaid, the state and federally funded program for people who are poor or disabled.

Shareholders from both companies have voted for the deal, but regulators are still reviewing it.

WellCare said it isn’t making a 2019 earnings forecast due to the pending deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Shares of WellCare have increased 24% since the beginning of the year. The stock has climbed 15% in the last 12 months.

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Portions of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on WCG at https://www.zacks.com/ap/WCG

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