Centene profit tops estimates on new contracts

April 23 Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:31am EDT

April 23 (Reuters) - Health insurer Centene Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as new contracts and expansion of existing contracts boosted revenue by 53 percent.

Net income fell marginally to $23 million, or 42 cents per share, in the first quarter from $24 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

Premium and service revenue for the quarter rose 53 percent to $2.54 billion, mainly driven by the expansion of contracts in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, and contract additions in Kansas, Missouri and Washington, the company said.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 37 cents per share, on revenue of $2.46 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.