Aetna sees 2014 earnings per share above Wall St estimates

Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:50pm EST

Dec 11 (Reuters) - U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc on Wednesday forecast 2014 earnings per share that were higher than Wall Street expects, a day ahead of a meeting with investors at which the company will lay out its strategy for the coming year.

Aetna, in a regulatory filing, said at Thursday's meeting it will issue a forecast for 2014 operating earnings of at least $6.25 per share. Analysts on average are looking for $6.21 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also said it sees 2014 operating revenue of about $53 billion, shy of Wall Street estimates of $55.3 billion.

Aetna in October said 2014 would be a challenging year due to uncertainty over the cost of U.S. healthcare reform and cuts in government funding for private Medicare plans.

The insurer reiterated its full-year forecast for 2013 operating earnings of $5.80 to $5.90 per share.

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