WellPoint earnings fall 8%, but board supports CEO

WellPoint's second quarter net income fell 8 percent--the fifth straight quarter that the insurer's earnings dropped from the previous year's quarter. The results at the second largest insurer has frustrated investors with CEO Angela Braly and other top executives heading the company.

In the last three months, WellPoint earned $643.6 million, compared to the $701.6 million year-over-year. Although revenue grew 2 percent to $15.17 billion, it was still about $100 million below analysts' average estimates, Reuters reported.

Enrollment also fell 1.9 percent to 33.5 million, down 169,000 because of increased competition in California, Georgia and Virginia, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Amid such a disappointing earnings report, WellPoint's board of directors issued an unusual statement supporting Braly and her senior leaders, saying the board "has been fully involved in the strategy WellPoint is pursuing and is supportive of the strategy and our management team," The Wall Street Journal reported.

Investors have been questioning WellPoint's performance for several quarters, particularly since the company has undergone a high turnover rate with Braly at the helm. "Time may be running out for WellPoint's management team," Citi Analyst Carl McDonald said in a research note. "Several large (share) holders were already frustrated by WellPoint, and this earnings report won't do much to improve the relationship."

To learn more:
- read the Reuters article
- see the Wall Street Journal article (subscription required)
- check out the Indianapolis Star article

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