U.S. health insurer Cigna, which is being bought by larger rival Anthem Inc, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as more customers signed up for its Medicare Advantage business, boosting premiums.
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Memberships in Cigna's government business, which sells Medicare and Medicaid plans, rose 10 percent in the first quarter.
This was partially offset by a reduction in Medicare Part D and individual customers, the company said on Friday.
Cigna's premium and fees in the global healthcare business, its biggest, rose 4.8 percent to $7.06 billion in the three months ended March 31.
The company said shareholder's net income fell to $519 million, or $2 per share, from $533 million, or $2.04 per share.
On an adjusted basis, it earned $2.32 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $2.15, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Operating revenue rose 5.6 percent to $9.92 billion, but fell shy of analysts' estimates of $10 billion.
Cigna raised its full-year adjusted income from operations forecast to $8.95 to $9.35 per share from $8.85 to $9.25.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $9.18.
(Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)