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WellCare Health Q1 Profit Climbs, Tops Estimates; Lifts FY18 View Above Market

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) reported Tuesday that its first-quarter net income was $101.7 million, or $2.25 per share, higher than last year's $67.3 million, or $1.50 per share.

Adjusted net income for the first quarter was $111.8 million, or $2.47 per share, compared with adjusted net income of $72.0 million, or $1.61 per share a year ago.

On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $2.02 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total Premium revenue climbed 17.2 percent to $4.63 billion from last year's $3.95 billion. Adjusted premium revenue grew 15.6 percent, to $4.53 billion from last year's $3.92 billion.

Analysts were looking for revenues of $4.69 billion.

Looking ahead, WellCare said it is increasing its full-year adjusted earnings per share guidance to a range of $10.00 to $10.30 from its previous guidance range of $9.55 to $9.85 per share. Analysts expect earnings of $9.82 per share for the quarter.

Ken Burdick, WellCare's chief executive officer, said, "We entered 2018 with strong momentum, and our 2018 first quarter results reflect continued strong execution. All lines of business produced strong earnings results during the quarter."

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