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Humana: Profit Falls, Shares Tumble

Improved outlook and revenue don't resonate with investors


An improved earnings outlook for the year at health insurer Humana (NYSE:HUM) didn’t offset Wall Street disappointment over falling first-quarter profits.

The company said its earnings for the first quarter dropped 21% to $248 million, compared to $315 million during the same period last year. First-quarter EPS was $1.49, down from $1.86 in 2011. While that topped the company’s own forecasted EPS of between $1.35 and $1.45, analysts had predicted $1.52, the Associated Press noted.

Humana shares dropped more than 8% in Monday afternoon trading.

Consolidated revenues rose 11% during the quarter to $10.22 billion, compared to $9.19 billion last year, driven mostly by increases in its Retail and Employer Group units. Analysts had expected revenue of $10.14 billion, the AP said.

Humana boosted its anticipated EPS for the year from between $7.50 and $7.70 to between $7.55 and $7.55, citing strong increases in membership for its Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans.

AP noted that health insurers WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) had beaten analysts’ expectation with first-quarter results and improved earnings forecasts, while Aetna (NYSE:AET) missed expectations.

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