Aetna's third-quarter earnings rose nearly 8 percent to Wall Street forecasts, as cost cutting and a growing government business helped counter higher costs from its Affordable Care Act business.
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The nation's third-largest health insurer earned $603.9 million in the three months that ended Sept. 30. That's up from the $560.1 million last year. Adjusted earnings came in at $2.07 per share and operating revenue rose 5 percent to $15.74 billion.
Industry analysts had expected earnings of $2.04 per share on $15.73 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
Aetna, based in Hartford, Connecticut, also narrowed its 2016 forecast. It now expects full-year adjusted earnings ranging from $7.95 to $8.05 per share.
Analysts project $8.06 per share.