NU Online News Service, April 29, 2004, 6:14 p.m. EDT – Anthem Inc., Indianapolis, pushed its first-quarter earnings up 54%.[@@]

The acquisitive managed care giant is reporting $295.6 million in net income for the quarter on $4.6 billion in revenue, up from $191.7 million in net income on $4.1 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2003.

Revenue and operating income increased in all major markets, and Anthem ended the quarter providing or administering coverage for 12.5 million people, up from 11.5 million people a year earlier.

Average premiums per fully insured customer increased 7.8%, to $738.