WellPoint says first-quarter profit fell on reform costs

April 30 Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:14am EDT

April 30 (Reuters) - WellPoint Inc, the second-largest U.S. health insurer, said on Wednesday that first-quarter profit fell, largely because of investment spending related to healthcare reform and the higher administrative costs of adding new commercial customers.

WellPoint, which runs Anthem and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, reported net profit of $701 million, or $2.40 per share, down from $885 million, or $2.89 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding net gains of 10 cents per share, earnings were $2.30 per share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $2.12 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It was not immediately known if the figures were comparable. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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