(By Balachander) Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) posted lower quarterly earnings as higher expenses offset revenue growth and the health care company reaffirmed its forecast for 2013. Bottom-line beat market expectations, while top-line missed consensus.
Net income declined to $192 million or $1.19 per share from $199 million or $1.20 per share in the comparable period of last year. Wall Street analysts, on average, expected EPS of $1.07 for the fourth quarter.
Revenue rose 5.5 percent to $9.56 billion, yet came in below consensus estimate of an increase of 7.50 percent. Total premiums and services revenue grew 5 percent.
Total operating expenses increased 6 percent.
As at December 31, 2012, Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana said Individual Medicare Advantage membership rose 18 percent to 1,927,600.
Looking ahead for the full year ending December 2013, the company still expects earnings per share in the range of $7.60 to $7.80, while analysts expect $7.89.
Humana expects 2013 results to reflect slightly higher flu-related medical costs than expected and additional interest expense related to Humana's senior notes offering.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range of $59.92 to $93.36, closed Friday's regular trading at $75.35.