Humana (HUM) revealed on Monday a stronger-than-expected increase in second-quarter profit as demand from senior citizens for its Medicare plans continued to widen, leading the company to raise its fiscal view.

Reflecting the strong performance, Humana raised its fiscal earnings guidance to a range of $7.50 to $7.60 a share from its earlier view of $6.70 to $6.90 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are predicting a profit of $7.07.

The Louisville, Ky.-based health insurer posted net income of $726.5 million, or $2.71 a share, compared with $535.9 million, or $2 a share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $2.50 a share, widely beating the Streets view of $2.06. Revenue for the three months ended June 30 was $9.28 billion, up 8% from $8.59 billion a year ago, just missing analyst estimates of $9.35 billion.

In a statement, Humana CEO Michael McCallister attributed the results to the companys commitment to operational excellence across all of its lines of business, progress with its 15% Solution initiative and fewer customers visiting doctors.

We believe the reinvestment spending we intend to make in the back half of 2011 will further position us for success in 2012 and beyond, he said.

For the current quarter, Humana predicts earnings between $1.95 and $2.05 a share. The Street is expecting a profit of $1.96 a share.

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