WellCare earnings jump in first quarter

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With growing numbers of Medicaid and Medicare Advantage customers, Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans enjoyed a large earnings increase during the first three months of 2012. WellCare on Wednesday reported net income of $51.2 million, or $1.18 per diluted share, during the first quarter of 2012, up from $21.3 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, during the same period in 2011. On an adjusted basis, its first quarter net income this year was $57.3 million, or $1.32 per diluted share. WellCare focuses on customers who are enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare, with Florida and Georgia among its key Medicaid states. It also is preparing to compete for contracts in Florida’s planned statewide expansion of Medicaid managed care. “Growth this quarter reflects the strength of our long-term focus on Medicaid and Medicare, as well as those dually eligible for both programs,” Alec Cunningham, WellCare’s chief executive officer, said in a news release announcing the earnings. “We continue to have many important opportunities for growth in providing quality, cost-effective health care solutions to our members and government customers.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.