posted fourth-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' expectations by a penny, boosted by robust revenues for the quarter.
Richmond, Va.-based Trigon, the state's largest managed care company, said fourth-quarter earnings per share before realized gains and losses was 86 cents, up from 62 cents in the year-ago period. According to a poll by
First Call/Thomson Financial
, the consensus estimate of 14 analysts was 85 cents a share for the quarter.
Trigon, which recently lost its bidding war against
WellPoint Health Networks
for Georgia-based Blue Cross/Blue Shield operator
, said fourth-quarter operating income, which is measured as premium and fee revenues, less medical claims and administrative expenses, grew 76% to $25.8 million from $14.7 million last year. This resulted in an operating margin of 3.9%.
Net income, which includes a $19.1 million realized loss in Trigon's investment portfolio during the quarter, was $21 million, or 54 cents a share, down from $27.6 million, or 70 cents a share a year ago.
Quarterly sales were $670.7 million from $611.6 million
Shares of Trigon closed at $62.90 in regular trading on the
New York Stock Exchange
Tuesday. They have a 52-week range of $28.81 and $81.50.