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Aetna takes loss after failed Humana bid

Aetna booked a $381 million, first-quarter loss mainly due to its failed bid for rival Humana, but the nation's third largest health insurer still beat earnings expectations and raised its 2017 forecast.

The company said Tuesday that it is relying more on government-funded Medicaid and Medicare Advantage coverage while also cutting back on troublesome products like individual insurance that complies with the Affordable Care Act.

Aetna and other insurers have been expanding their government business in recent years as more people become eligible for Medicare Advantage plans that care for those over age 65 and as state governments turn to insurers to manage Medicaid programs that help the poor.

Premiums collected from that business jumped 9 percent to more than $7 billion for Aetna in the quarter, surpassing commercial coverage for the first time. Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini told analysts that government business continues to be "the predominant driver of our growth."

Overall, Aetna reported earnings of $2.71 per share, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, on $15.24 billion in operating revenue, which excludes investment income. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $2.36 per share on $15.48 billion in revenue, according to Zacks Investment Research.

 

CVS Health profit drops by 17 percent

CVS Health's profit sank 17 percent in the first quarter as the drugstore chain started feeling the loss of some big customers, but it still beat Wall Street expectations.

Net income fell to $952 million in the quarter after its pharmacies were excluded from some prescription coverage networks. One big loss was the government's Tricare program, which provides coverage for military personnel and their families.

CVS Health also saw a slump in sales outside the pharmacy area of its drugstores, but the company's pharmacy benefits management business helped counter that. CEO Larry Merlo called 2017 a "rebuilding year" Tuesday in a company release. But he said that CVS also aims to return to healthy growth levels.

CVS Health runs nearly 9,700 retail locations, counting the pharmacy and clinic businesses it operates for retail giant Target Corp. That total is second only to Walgreens.

 

Apple tops estimates with $11 billion profit

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple Inc. on Tuesday reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $11.03 billion, or $2.10 per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.02 per share.

The maker of iPhones, iPads and other products posted revenue of $52.9 billion in the period, also topping Wall Street forecasts.

For the current quarter ending in July, Apple said it expects revenue in the range of $43.5 billion to $45.5 billion.

Apple shares have climbed 27 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen almost 7 percent.

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