Oxford Health Continues Its Recovery

FRAMINGHAM (04/26/2000) - As further evidence of its financial recovery from a computer systems gaffe two years ago, Oxford Health Plans Inc. has reported better-than-expected net income for its first quarter - $28.8 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, beating Wall Street analysts' predictions by eight cents.

According to a poll of analysts conducted by First Call Corp., Wall Street was expecting earnings of 26 cents per share. During the same period last year, Trumbull, Connecticut-based Oxford Health posted an operating loss of $4.6 million, or six cents per share, excluding a one-time gain from the sale of its New York Medicaid business.

Revenue for the first quarter ended March 31 fell 3.8% to $1.02 billion from $1.06 billion in the first quarter of last year. The decline represents the company's year-end withdrawal from Medicare in New York's Suffolk County and the discontinuance of certain small product offerings.

Oxford, which has 1.5 million managed health care members in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, credited its growth, in part, to the lower-than-expected doctor costs and its successful rebound. The company said it expects to retire a $131-million bank debt in the second quarter.

More than two years after posting big losses - mostly because of major computer system problems- Oxford also posted profits for the third and fourth quarters of last year.

The third quarter of last year was the first time the company had reported any profits since mid-1997.

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