Aetna's results come days after Reuters reported that pharmacy
operator CVS Health offered to buy the third-largest U.S. health
insurer for more than $66 billion.
The move would enable Aetna to take back full control of
prescription medicines for its customers by negotiating prices with
drugmakers and setting customer out-of-pocket costs for each drug.
The company, which has fully exited the 2018 Obamacare individual
insurance market, said on Tuesday its net income rose to $838
million or $2.52 per share in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $604
million or $1.70 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Aetna earned $2.45 per share, beating analysts'
average estimate of $2.09, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue, however, fell 5 percent to about $15 billion, below the
average estimate of $15.13 billion.
Aetna said its medical benefit ratio — the percent of premiums spent
on claims — fell to 81.4 percent in its commercial business from
83.8 percent a year earlier.
[to top of second column]
The drop was due to reduced losses in the insurer's Obamacare
business and improved performance across its core commercial
business, the company said.
Aetna said it now expects adjusted earnings for 2017 to be about
$9.75, up from its previous estimate of $9.45 to $9.55 per share.
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina
D'Couto and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.