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WellPoint Health Networks


reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates, thanks to higher membership rates in its medical plans.

The company earned $89.5 million, or $1.38 a share, up from $76.2 million, or $1.11 a share, a year ago. The 18-analyst estimate compiled by

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First Call/Thomson Financial

called for earnings of $1.30 a share.

Total revenue for the quarter rose to $2.35 billion from $1.89 billion last year, while premium revenue rose to $2.18 billion from $1.74 billion.