Aetna Inc. Earnings: The Profit Streak Continues

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) reported its results for the first quarter. Aetna is a health insurance company. It provides its customers, ranging from individuals to employer groups to governmental units, with traditional and consumer-directed health care benefits products and related services, such as medical, pharmaceutical, dental, behavioral health, group life, and disability plans.

Investing Insights: What’s the Future of Microsoft’s Stock?

Aetna Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for Aetna Inc. fell to $511 million ($1.43 per share) vs. $586 million ($1.50 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 12.8% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 6.3% to $8.92 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Aetna Inc. reported adjusted net income of $1.34 per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of $1.40 per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $8.68 billion.

Quoting Management: “Our first-quarter results are a good start to the year, and we expect continued strong performance in 2012,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna chairman, CEO and president. “We’re balancing growth and profitability, and are confident of our ability to increase membership over the course of this year to 18.2 million medical members. We’re seeing positive momentum in our 2013 selling season with early National Accounts wins and new business opportunities that are twice what they were a year ago. Customers are beginning to return to Aetna’s integrated solutions that deliver better value and health outcomes.”

Key Stats:

The company fell short of estimates last quarter after being in line with expectations the quarter before with net income of 97 cents.

Net income has increased 14.4% year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the fourth of the last fiscal year, when income climbed 72.8% from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the second quarter has moved up from $1.32 a share to $1.36 over the last ninety days. The average estimate for the fiscal year is $5.15 per share, a rise from $5.10 ninety days ago.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

Don’t Miss These Additional Hot Stories:

Interest Rates Set to Rise on Student Debt Bubble>>

The Procter & Gamble Company Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek>>

Apple Pounds Critics into Applesauce>>