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Insurer WellPoint’s 1Q profit climbs nearly 6 pct
San Francisco Chronicle

WellPoint Inc. said Wednesday a drop in expenses helped its first-quarter net income rise nearly 6 percent, even as it spent more than $700 million buying back shares, and the health insurer raised its 2011 earnings forecast.

The largest publicly traded health insurer based on enrollment earned $926.6 million, or $2.44 per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That’s up from $876.8 million, or $1.96 per share, a year earlier, when the insurer had 67 million more shares.

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