Aetna's better-than-expected Q3 raises 2015 projections

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Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna $37 billion acquisition net income of $560.1 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2015, up 6 percent over the same period last year, thanks to strong cash flow and operating margins. The payer's total revenue in the third quarter was also up by 2 percent over last year, at $14.95 billion.

Based on its third-quarter results, the company raised its projections for 2015 operating earnings to a range of $7.45 to $7.55 per share from $7.40 per share, according to Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini.

"As we finish out the year and look toward 2016 and beyond, we are well-positioned across a number of major growth opportunities, including Medicare and Medicaid. We continue to work diligently on planning for the Humana integration, and we are excited about the value that the combination will create for consumers and shareholders," Mr. Bertolini said in a statement.

Aetna's proposed $37 billion acquisition of Humana was approved by shareholders earlier this month. The payers expect the transaction to close next year.

The payer's healthcare segment reported a 1.5 percent increase in net income to $585.4 million in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year, despite losing 169,000 in medical membership. This decline in commercial products was offset by growth in government business.

On group insurance, which includes group life, disability and long-term care, Aetna's net income dropped 56.7 percent in the third quarter of 2015 to $22.8 million from $52.6 million in the third quarter of 2014. This was largely due to lower underwriting margins in these products, the company reported.


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