Insurer WellPoint's 4Q Profit Sinks 39 Percent

Published January 25, 2012 11:27AM (EST)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — WellPoint says its fourth-quarter profit sank 39 percent as investment income fell and expenses climbed, but the health insurer raised its quarterly dividend and says it expects earnings growth in 2012.

The largest health insurer based on enrollment says it earned $335.3 million, or 96 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That's down from $548.8 million, or $1.40 per share, in the final quarter of 2010.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $15.32 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of $1.12 per share on $15.46 billion in revenue.

The Indianapolis company says its board approved a quarterly dividend of 28.7 cents per share. It expects to earn at least $7.60 per share in 2012, which would represent growth of more than 8 percent over 2011.

By Salon Staff

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