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Healthcare segment performance boosts Aetna's Q2 income

Aetna Inc. reported second-quarter GAAP net income of $1.20 billion, or $3.60 per share, compared to $791 million, or $2.23 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $1.15 billion, or $3.42 per share, up from $783 million, or $2.21 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was $2.35.

The increase in adjusted earnings resulted from the continued strong performance in Aetna's healthcare segment. The increase also reflects a larger decrease in the company's estimate of risk adjustment payables for the prior year for its individual and small group Affordable Care Act-compliant products in the most recent quarter compared to the year-ago period.

Total revenues declined 3% year over year to $15.52 billion from $15.95 billion. Adjusted revenue totaled $15.50 billion, down from $15.90 billion a year ago. The decrease in total and adjusted revenues was primarily due to lower premiums in the healthcare segment, including lower membership in ACA-compliant individual and small group products, and the temporary suspension of the health insurer fee in 2017.

The total healthcare medical benefit ratio for the most recent quarter was 80.0%, compared to 82.4% in the year-ago quarter. The commercial medical benefit ratio was 78.6%, versus 83.4% a year ago, and the second-quarter government medical benefit ratio was 81.3% compared to 81.4% in the second quarter of 2016.

Total medical membership was 22.1 million at June 30, compared to 22.4 million at March 31, and 23.0 million at June 30, 2016.

For full year 2017, Aetna expects net income per share of $5.46 to $5.56. Adjusted EPS is expected to be between $9.45 to $9.55. The company previously expected net income per share to be between $4.48 and $4.68, and adjusted EPS of $8.80 to $9.00.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2017 is $8.99.