updated 2/10/2005 11:58:19 AM ET 2005-02-10T16:58:19

Health insurance giant Aetna Inc. on Thursday reported a 22 percent rise in fourth-quarter profits from a year ago, citing increased premiums and fees. The company also raised its outlook for the current year and declared a 2-for-1 stock split.

Aetna said net income rose to $300.7 million, or $1.95 per share, in the last three months of 2004 from $249.5 million, or $1.56 per share during the same period a year earlier.

It said its operating income excluding gains from what the company described as a “favorable development of prior-period health care cost estimates,” rose to $1.82 per share in the latest quarter from $1.32 a year earlier.

That beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call, who were expecting earnings of $1.80 per share. Revenue were up 13 percent to $5.2 billion from $4.6 billion a year ago.

Aetna also boosted its forecast for 2005 to $8.75 to $8.90 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $8.51 per share.

Aetna said membership increased by 86,000 during the quarter to 13.7 million and predicted its membership would increase by about 1 million to 14.7 million this year. Premiums rose by 14.2 and fees increased 9.9 percent.

For all of 2004, net income rose to $2.2 billion, or $14.30 per share, from $933.8 million, or $5.91 per share. Revenue rose 11 percent to $19.9 billion from $18 billion.

“We are very pleased to have delivered on our commitments by every measure in 2004,” said John W. Rowe, the company’s chairman and CEO.

Also Thursday, the company said that its board declared a 2-for-1 stock split. On March 11, shareholders of record at Feb. 25 will receive one additional Aetna common share for each share held.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.91%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.20%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.57%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.42%
13.40%
Cash Back Cards 17.92%
17.92%
Rewards Cards 17.13%
17.12%
Source: Bankrate.com