WellPoint Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (WLP)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A-. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • WLP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 13.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.61, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, WLP has a quick ratio of 1.66, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 38.24% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, WLP should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Health Care Providers & Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 3.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $856.50 million to $885.20 million.

WellPoint, Inc., a health benefits company, through its subsidiaries, offers network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid, and senior markets in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Commercial, Consumer, and Other. WellPoint has a market cap of $25.7 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 40.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full WellPoint Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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