Over the course of its last several fiscal quarters, an earnings release has typically served as a boost for shares of WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG). And the company's stock price did improve by 22% yesterday. However, the price had previously plunged thanks to an ongoing probe being conducted by federal and state agencies. Yesterday's improvement owed as much to a recovery from that plunge as it did to strong improvements in the managed-care provider's financial metrics.

The company offered no prospective guidance, given its situation, and announced that filing of its 10-Q would be delayed. These issues aside, WellCare checked in with a 61% surge in earnings per share on a 42% year-over-year rise in total revenue. The revenue growth was driven by the rise of the company's year-old Georgia Medicaid health plan, as well as growth in Medicare products. Only time will tell if other factors beneath the surface played a contributing role in the company's torrid growth in recent quarters.

Despite the swift improvement in the company's stock on Monday, I would still consider a position in shares of WellCare to be quite speculative. The uncertainty that looms for the company means an extremely high level of risk in either a short or a long position in this stock. The managed-care industry has been performing extremely well, with notable performances in 2007 from companies such as AMERIGROUP (NYSE:AGP) and Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH). I just don't see the logic behind a gamble on WellCare at this point in time.

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Fool contributor Billy Fisher does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.