Shares of Anthem Inc. were indicated up about 2% in premarke trading Wednesday, after the health benefits company reported first-quarter profit that beat expectations and provided an upbeat full-year outlook, but revenue that missed expectations as premiums rose less than forecast. TNet income rose to $1.67 billion, or $6.71 a share, from $1.52 billion, or $1.52 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as net negative adjustments, adjusted earnings per share came to $7.01, above the FactSet consensus of $6.38. Total revenue grew 9.3% to $32.39 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $32.97 billion, as premiums increased 8.5% to $27.68 billion but missed expectations of $28.10 billion. For 2021, the company expects adjusted EPS “greater than” $25.10, compared with the FactSet consensus of $24.70. Medical enrollment rose 3.3% to a total of 43.5 million, reflecting growth in its Medicaid and Medicare businesses. The company said it expects the “positive momentum” in the first quarter to persist through the rest of the year. The stock has run up 18.9% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.
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