Humana tops 2Q net income expectations, misses revenue forecasts



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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Humana's second-quarter earnings jumped about 25 percent in a better-than-expected performance, as a business sale gain and premium growth helped the Medicare Advantage coverage provider.

The Louisville, Kentucky, company, which is being acquired by fellow insurer Aetna Inc., said Wednesday that it earned $431 million in the three months that ended June 30. That's up from $344 million in the previous year's quarter.

Earnings adjusted for non-recurring gains totaled $1.67 per share in the most recent quarter, which topped Wall Street expectations.

Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of $1.63 per share, according to Zacks Investment research.

The health insurer posted total revenue of $13.73 billion in the period, missing Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $13.79 billion.

Premiums, Humana's chief form of revenue, climbed 14 percent to $13.21 billion in the quarter. The insurer also booked $267 million in pretax income from the sale of occupational health provider Concentra.

The insurer said its enrollment in individual and group Medicare Advantage coverage grew 12 percent to nearly 3.2 million people in the second quarter.

Humana is one of the nation's biggest providers of Medicare Advantage plans, which are privately run versions of the government's Medicare program for people who are over 65 or disabled. The insurer has struggled this year with the prices it set for that business compared to the claims it has received. The company said in a statement Wednesday that health care use in its Medicare Advantage plans was stabilizing.

Earlier this month, Aetna said it will spend about $35 billion in a cash-and-stock deal for Humana that's expected to close next year. Rivals Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp. also are seeking to combine, as health insurers look to cut costs, improve their technology and grow quickly in a wave of deals sweeping the sector.

Shares of Humana slipped 96 cents to $183.56 in late-morning trading while broader indexes rose slightly. That stock price has increased about 28 percent since the beginning of the year.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on HUM at http://www.zacks.com/ap/HUM

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