Humana, Louisville, Ky., saw its profits more than double for the three months ended March 31, thanks largely to a surge in military and government business. Net income reached $67.8 million, or 41 cents per share, up from $31.2 million, or 19 cents per share, for the year-ago quarter -- in line with analysts' average estimate. Revenue rose 12% to $3.3 billion, reflecting a 6% year-over-year increase in total enrollment to 7 million members. However, the company said operating earnings from its commercial segment remained flat because of pricing pressure from competitors, and medical costs rose to 84.4% of premium revenue from 83.4% in the year-ago quarter because of rising expenses at a large municipal customer. The increase in that account could trim profits by $30 million this year, Humana said. The company reiterated its 2004 per-share earnings outlook of $1.60 to $1.65 but forecast second-quarter, per-share earnings of 37 cents to 39 cents, short of analysts' average estimate of 41 cents. -- by Laura B. Benko
Humana profits double but some trouble on horizon
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