Aetna, which is in the process of buying rival Humana, reported first-quarter operating earnings that topped analysts' estimates as the health insurer added more members to its government plans.
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The company said on Wednesday it was on track to close the Humana acquisition by the second half of the year and that it had obtained about two-thirds of the necessary state approvals required to close the deal.
However, Aetna's net income fell to $726.6 million, or $2.06 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $777.5 million, or $2.20 per share, a year earlier.
The company's medical benefit ratio, which compares the amount spent on medical claims with income from premiums, deteriorated to 80.5 percent from 79.1 percent a year ago.
The company's operating earnings of $2.30 per share was above the average analyst estimate of $2.23, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue rose 4 percent to $15.69 billion, beating estimates of $15.45 billion.
(Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Anil D'Silva)