Why WellCare Shares Popped

Why WellCare Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of managed care services provider WellCare Health Plans popped 10% today after its quarterly results and outlook topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has rallied nicely in 2013 on better-than-expected membership growth, and today's Q2 results -- adjusted EPS of $1.35 on a revenue spike of 29% -- only reinforce that trend. Additionally, its medical benefits ratio for the Medicaid business decreased to 87.5% from 89.2% in the year-ago period, suggesting that WellCare's recent cost pressures are easing up, too.

Management raised the low end of its full-year adjusted EPS by $0.10 to a range of $4.70-$4.90 and also upped its premium revenue outlook by $250 million to $9.15 billion-$9.25 billion.

"We see important opportunities for growth in 2014 and beyond and are continuing to invest in our capabilities to capitalize on those opportunities," said CEO Alec Cunningham.

Of course, with the stock now up 50% from its 52-week lows and trading at a forward P/E of nearly 15, much of those opportunities might already be baked into the stock.

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The article Why WellCare Shares Popped originally appeared on Fool.com.

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Originally published