UPDATE 1-Anthem revenue beats on pharmacy benefits unit strength

FILE PHOTO: The office building of health insurer Anthem is seen in Los Angeles, California February 5, 2015. /Gus Ruelas () – U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc (ANTM.N) beat quarterly revenue estimates on Wednesday, helped by higher sales following the launch of its pharmacy benefits management business, IngenioRx. The company launched the business months before schedule and expects it to contribute billions of dollars in annual cost savings. Operating revenue from the unit which houses IngenioRx rose to $3.85 billion in the quarter from $411 million a year earlier. Its top-earning business segment which sells government-backed Medicare and Medicaid plans reported a near 13% jump in operating revenue. The company’s benefit expense ratio, the share of premiums paid for medical services, worsened to 89% in the quarter from 86.8% a year earlier. According to seven analysts polled by Refinitiv, the expectation was 87.91%. Anthem also forecast 2020 adjusted profit to be above $22.3 per share. Net income rose to $934 million, or $3.62 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $424 million, or $1.61 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Anthem earned $3.88 per share, in line with estimates. Total operating revenue rose about 16% to $27.13 billion, beating estimates of $27.10 billion. Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun KoyyurOur Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.