WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) today announced that fourth quarter 2012 net income was $464.2 million, or $1.51 per share. These results included $0.48 per share of net income resulting primarily from a favorable income tax settlement and net investment gains, partially offset by acquisition related costs. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $335.3 million, or $0.96 per share, and included net investment losses of $0.03 per share.
Excluding the items noted in each period, adjusted net income was $1.03 per share in the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 4.0 percent compared with adjusted net income of $0.99 per share in the prior year quarter (refer to GAAP reconciliation table for a reconciliation to the most directly comparable measure calculated in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or “GAAP”).
Full year 2012 net income totaled approximately $2.7 billion, or $8.18 per share, including $0.62 per share of net income related to certain items. Full year 2011 net income was approximately $2.6 billion, or $7.25 per share, including net investment gains of $0.25 per share. Excluding the items noted in each period, adjusted net income was $7.56 per share for the full year of 2012, an increase of 8.0 percent compared with adjusted net income of $7.00 per share in 2011 (refer to GAAP reconciliation table).
“Our fourth quarter results were stronger than originally expected, reflecting improved operating performance, solid expense management and improving execution in our core operations,” said John Cannon, interim president and chief executive officer. “We are encouraged by this strong performance, and believe it positions us well for a solid 2013. We are optimistic about our company’s long-term positioning and believe the alignment of our core businesses, leadership and 2013 investments prepare us well for the emerging opportunities in health care.”“Our fourth quarter results reflected lower than anticipated Commercial medical costs and stability in our membership base. Our results were supported by the strength of our operating cash flow and year-end balance sheet metrics,” said Wayne DeVeydt, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We are encouraged by the performance of our associates and the business in the last six months, but we also want to retain an appropriately prudent stance in our outlook, in light of what we expect to be a fluid and dynamic market over the next 18 to 24 months. This is reflected in our initial expectation for 2013 EPS of at least $7.60.”