NU Online News Service, April 22, 2004, 1:15 p.m. EDT – Strong sales in California, Georgia and Missouri contributed to another quarter of earnings growth at WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif.[@@]

The managed care company is reporting $295.2 million in net income for the first quarter on $5.6 billion in revenue, up from $193.1 million in net income on $4.8 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2003.

The company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 15.4 million people, up from 14.2 million a year earlier.

Average premium revenue per insured commercial health plan member increased 10%, to $606.