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Molina forecast misses estimates

January 19, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Shares of Molina Healthcare Inc. fell the most in 10 weeks after the managed-care provider gave a 2007 forecast Thursday that fell short of analysts' estimates.

Long Beach-based Molina said full-year profit would be about $1.75 to $1.90 a share. The company had been expected to earn $2.08, the average estimate of eight analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Rising healthcare costs have taken a toll on Molina and other companies that manage medical care for people on Medicaid and other government-sponsored programs for the poor.

Molina said about 86.2% of its revenue from insurance premiums next year would be spent on the cost of services for its members, compared with 84.1% in the third quarter.

Shares of Molina fell $2.74, or 8.1%, to $31.15. It was the stock's biggest single-day tumble since it dropped 11% on Nov. 8.

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