NU Online News Service, March 19, 2003, 11:23 a.m. EST – WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., says its board has authorized the repurchase of 5 million more shares of common stock.

The move means that the managed care company has the authority to buy back a total of 7.2 million shares.

WellPoint now has 145 million shares of common stock outstanding. Its stock has been selling for an average of about $67 per share in recent weeks.