VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Health insurer Amerigroup Corp.'s first-quarter earnings dropped 53 percent, as its expenses jumped while it added new members in several states.

The Virginia Beach, Va., company said Wednesday it earned $33.1 million, or 64 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That compares with earnings of $70.5 million, or $1.37 per share, in last year's first quarter. Total revenue climbed 15 percent to $1.77 billion.

The earnings topped Wall Street expectations, and Amerigroup's shares climbed $3.53, or 5.6 percent, to $66.13 by late afternoon, while markets were mixed overall.

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