Centene Corp. stock surged 2.5% in light morning trade Tuesday after the company reported second-quarter profit and revenue beats and said its Affordable Care Act business was "particularly strong, confirming our business as usual approach." Earnings for the latest quarter rose to $254 million, or $1.44 per share, from $170 million, or 97 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings-per-share were $1.59, compared with the FactSet consensus of $1.30. Revenue rose to $11.95 billion from $10.90 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $11.70 billion. The company also updated its 2017 guidance to reflect its strong second-quarter performance, an increase in its business expansion cost due to a shorter ACA open enrollment period and new investments in ACA and Medicare growth initiatives, along with an increase in margin expectations for its ACA business this year. Centene now expects revenue of $46.4 billion to $47.2 billion, up from previous guidance of $46 to $46.8 billion, and adjusted EPS of $4.70 to $5.06, up from previous guidance of $4.50 to $4.90. Centene said in mid-June that it plans to expand offerings in ACA, also called Obamacare, marketplaces, with plans to enter Kansas, Missouri and Nevada next year and expand its offerings in six existing markets. Centene shares have surged 17.3% to $86.12 over the last three months, compared with a 3.7% rise in the S&P 500 .
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