Anthem Inc., the second-biggest U.S. health insurer by market value, posted earnings that topped estimates as membership climbed.
First-quarter operating earnings were $3.14 a share, beating the $2.68 average of 19 estimates surveyed by Bloomberg. Net income was $865 million, or $3.09 a share, up from $701 million, or $2.40 a share, a year earlier, the Indianapolis, Indiana-based company said Wednesday in a statement.
Anthem, which changed its name from WellPoint last year, is among health insurers that are adjusting to new taxes and regulations under the Affordable Care Act. The health-care law also creates new customers for the firms, since it requires almost all Americans to carry health insurance.
The company raised its forecast for adjusted profit this year to more than $9.90 a share, compared with a forecast in February for more than $9.70 a share. The insurer expects to have medical membership of 38.2 million to 38.4 million people, an increase from a previous prediction of 38 million to 38.2 million.
In the first quarter, Anthem’s medical membership rose to 38.5 million people, compared with 36.9 million a year earlier, the company said.
Anthem’s shares fell 0.4 percent to $153.56 at 9:58 a.m. New York time. Through Tuesday’s close, the stock had gained 23 percent this year.
Anthem’s revenue rose to $19.1 billion from $17.9 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected $19.3 billion on average.