Why WellPoint (WLP) Stock Is Lower Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of WellPoint (WLP) are down -2.20% to $110.07 after the health benefit company's second quarter profit declined due to higher expenses, even though revenue and enrollment increased.

The company upped its earnings outlook for the year, saying it now expects adjusted per share profit to top $8.60, compared with its prior forecast for earnings of more than $8.40 a share. WellPoint reiterated its expectation for operating revenue above $73.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports

For the second quarter, WellPoint reported a profit of $731.1 million, or $2.56 per share, down from $800.1 million, or $2.64 per share, a year ago. Excluding gains on investments and other items, per share earnings fell to $2.44 from $2.60.

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Total operating revenue increased 4.2% to $18.23 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $2.26 a share and operating revenue of $18.23 billion.

TheStreet Ratings team rates WELLPOINT INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WELLPOINT INC (WLP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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