IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Aetna reports higher quarterly profit

U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc. said on Thursday that quarterly profit rose as its premiums outpaced medical costs.
/ Source: Reuters

U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc. said on Thursday that quarterly profit rose as its premiums outpaced medical costs.

Both revenue and medical costs fell in the quarter, partly because Aetna has been shedding members.

The Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer said it earned $249.5 million or $1.56 per share in the fourth quarter, compared to $98.2 million or 63 cents per share a year earlier.

Excluding items such as a gain for the over-estimation of medical costs in prior periods, the company earned $1.32 per share compared with 77 cents per share a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn $1.18 per share for the 2003 quarter, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.

Total commercial membership, or enrollment in plans provided through employers, declined to 12.8 million from 13.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2002.

Quarterly revenue fell to $4.57 billion from $4.72 billion.

Aetna said it expects 2004 operating earnings between $6.25 and $6.35 per share, well above the average estimate from analysts of $5.77 per share.