THE RESULTS: Health insurer WellPoint Inc. earned $926.6 million, or $2.44 per share, in the first quarter, up from $876.8 million, or $1.96 per share, a year earlier. Total revenue fell slightly to $14.89 billion.
THE REASONS: The insurer cut selling, general and administrative expenses more than 4 percent, and the total spent on medical claims fell 1.4 percent to $11.23 billion.
NEW FORECAST: WellPoint now expects 2011 earnings of at least $6.60 per share, excluding investment gains. That's up from $6.30 per share, a forecast analysts labeled conservative. Analysts expect, on average, $6.62 per share.