(Corrects to remove reference to adjusted earnings of 47 cents
per share. The net profit of 17 cents per share is comparable
with analysts' estimates)
Feb 5 Health insurer Centene Corp
reported a 70 percent drop in profit due to higher costs
associated with a severe flu season in the United States and a
weak performance by its Medicaid contracts in Texas and
Net profit fell to $9.1 million, or 17 cents per share, for
the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $30.1 million, or 57 cents per
share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average expected earnings of 32 cents per share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue rose 59 percent to $2.4 billion of which
premium and services revenue brought in $2.3 billion.
Insurers take a hit from the flu because of an increase in
claims related to visits to doctors and hospitals. The flu
season began earlier than usual this year, and typically
insurers spend hundreds of millions by the end of the season.
Peer Humana Inc reported a drop in fourth-quarter
profit on Monday and said it was experiencing the worst flu
season in a decade that would cost $75 million for added
healthcare services such as hospitalizations.
Centene reiterated its 2013 profit forecast of $2.60 to
$2.90 per share.
Shares of the company closed at $43.8 on Monday on the
(Reporting By Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni