Coventry Health full-year outlook lags Street

Coventry Health Care

The insurer forecast a slight increase in the consolidated medical loss ratio (MLR) -- the amount of revenue from health insurance premiums that is spent on the medical services covered by a plan -- to 82-82.4 percent, up from its prior view of 81.8-82.3 percent.

It now expects full-year earnings, excluding items, of $2.95-$3.00 a share, up from the $2.80-$2.95 a share it forecast earlier. It also now sees annual consolidated revenue of $12.08-$12.17 billion, up from the $11.73-$12.19 billion it previously forecast.

However, analysts have predicted full-year earnings of $3.01 per share, on revenue of $12.18 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

July-September net income fell to $122.7 million, or 84 cents per share, from $189.9 million, or $1.29 cents per share, a year earlier, while total operating revenue rose 5 percent to $3 billion.

Excluding a 2 cents charge from the Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service product, earnings were 82 cents a share, just above the 81 cents a share that analysts had expected.

Shares of Bethesda, Maryland-based Coventry closed at $32.94 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, and touched a 6-week high during that session. (Reporting by Kavyanjali Kaushik in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Ian Geoghegan)