I have to hand it to investors in managed-care provider WellCare Health Plans
Once again, the company beat its own forecasts as well as Wall Street's earnings estimates for the quarter. Normally, I would say a company that beats estimates as consistently as WellCare does is sandbagging on its forecasts. However, when revenue, earnings, and membership continue to grow at such a stifling rate, how could one be expected to accurately predict a 136% increase in EPS?
Earnings were aided in the second quarter by a 14% growth in membership versus the year-ago quarter, as well as strong gains by the company's Medicare Advantage business and its Georgia Medicaid health plan. The managed-care industry as a whole has continued to perform quite well: Amerigroup
I don't see this stock being tripped up anytime soon. WellCare continues to effectively manage its expenses and medical benefits ratio. Management once again issued a revised full-year earnings forecast that is approximately 7% above the guidance issued three months ago. I would not be at all surprised to see this guidance change once again -- in a positive direction, three months from now.
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Fool contributor Billy Fisher does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.