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Earnings Roundup

Health Net profit misses estimates

August 06, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Shares of Health Net Inc. fell 3% after the insurer's second-quarter profit missed analysts' estimates.

Net income dropped 17% to $76.7 million, or 71 cents a share, from $92 million, or 80 cents, a year earlier, the company said. Excluding one-time items, profit was 74 cents a share, missing by 2 cents the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company also reduced its 2008 forecast for adjusted earnings to a range of $1.97 to $2.03 a share from $3.45 to $3.55.

"It is now apparent that Medicare healthcare costs are running higher than previous expectations," Chief Executive Jay Gellert said, adding that Health Net expected fewer new customers because of "further weakening in the economy."

Shares of the Woodland Hills-based health insurer dropped 87 cents to $27.43.

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