Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/24/2013

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for stranding by. Welcome to the WellPoint Incorporated First Quarter Results Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to the Company's management.

Doug Simpson - VP, IR: Good morning, everyone and welcome to WellPoint's first quarter 2013 earnings conference. This is Doug Simpson, Vice President of Investor Relations. Presenting today are Joe Swedish, Chief Executive Officer and Wayne DeVeydt, Executive Vice President and CFO.

Joe will start the call today with an introduction and offer some of his views on WellPoint's positioning, near-term and longer-term, and also lay out some of his expectations as CEO. Wayne will then offer an update on the business and highlight progress against our operating goals. He will also review the quarterly financial highlights and an updated outlook. Q&A will follow Wayne's remarks.

During this call, we will reference certain non-GAAP measures. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are available on our website at We will also be making some forward-looking statements on this call. Listeners are cautioned that these statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of WellPoint.

These risks and uncertainties can cause actual results to differ materially from our current expectations. We advise listeners to review the risk factors discussed in today's press release and in our quarterly and annual filings with the SEC.

I will now turn the call over to Joe.

Joseph R. Swedish - CEO: Good morning and thank you for joining us today. This is my first of what I expect to be many discussions. I look forward to meeting more of you at upcoming conferences and industry events. I expect to maintain an active dialog and appreciate your interest in WellPoint.

As Doug mentioned, this morning I'm going to focus my remarks on two principal areas. I want to start with an overview of my decision to join WellPoint and then discuss some of my expectations and how I'm approaching my responsibilities.

I've worked with many healthcare enterprises over my 40 years in the industry. As I think about the evolution of the system over the next 10 years, I'm optimistic about the prospects for WellPoint and the opportunity to deliver value to our customers, members, associates and shareholders.

I'm encouraged by the recent operating momentum as demonstrated by his quarter's performance, which builds upon the improved operating trends seen in the second half of 2012. I would like take a minute to thank John Cannon for his efforts during the interim period in stabilizing the Company for 2013. There is much to be done with exchanges coming quickly and the market backdrop constantly evolving.

It is helpful to start a year on a strong note, as shown by our strong bottom line, strong cash flow and expense controls in the first quarter. I've now been here for a month and my emersion has been constructive and supports my due diligence prior to accepting the opportunity.

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