Shares of WellPoint rose even though quarterly profits at the health insurer plunged 68 percent. WellPoint’s customers raced to used more medical services before policies were cancelled at the end of 2013, which is why profits fell. But, the company gave an optimistic enrollment outlook. It expects that applicants on Affordable Care Act plans will be in the age and demographic range it anticipated. WellPoint’s shares rose more than one percent to $85.37.
Shares of Dow Chemical surged on good earnings and news the company is hiking its dividend and tripling its shares buyback program. Dow was recently targeted by activist investor Dan Loeb of Third Point Capital, who is urging the company to spin off its petrochemical unit. Shares jumped almost four percent to $44.73.
Jet Blue Airways
Fourth quarter earnings at Jet Blue Airways soared on improved passenger traffic and stronger revenue. But, recent bad weather and flight cancellations prompted the airline to slash its revenue outlook. That worried investors, sending shares down almost three percent to $8.50.
Shares of auction house Sotheby’s were lower today. The decline came despite news that it will return $450 million to shareholders through a special dividend and buyback program. The stock was off slightly to $48.74.