WellCare profit beats estimates on premium growth
* Second-quarter adj earnings $1.24/share vs est $1.21/shr
* Second-quarter rev $1.81 bln vs est $1.79 bln
* Raises full-year earnings forecast
Aug 3 (Reuters) - Health insurer WellCare Health Plans Inc reported a quarterly profit that beat market expectations on higher premium revenue, and raised its full-year earnings outlook.
WellCare, which competes with Cigna Corp, Aetna Inc and Coventry Health Care Inc, sees adjusted earnings of $5.25-$5.45 per share for 2012, up from its prior forecast of $5.20-$5.40 per share.
The insurer sees full-year premium revenue of about $7.1 billion.
Analysts were expecting a profit of $5.41 per share on revenue of $7.19 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company's net income fell to $46.4 million, or $1.06 per share, for the second quarter from $69.6 million, or $1.61 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.24 per share. Revenue rose 22 percent to $1.81 billion.
Analysts had expected a profit of $1.21 per share on revenue of $1.79 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
UnitedHealth Group Inc, which also beat profit estimates last month, had given cautious comments about reimbursement and tough competition.
Tampa, Florida-based WellCare's shares closed at $63.51 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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