Regional health insurer Health Net Inc. reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations, helped by strong sales in the Western U.S. and lower administrative costs.
The Los Angeles company posted a third-quarter net loss of $66 million, or 64 cents a share, contrasted with net income of $18.5 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier, largely because of charges related to the pending sale of its Northeast division to UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Excluding special items, Health Net reported earnings of $69.6 million, or 67 cents a share.
Analysts on average had expected earnings excluding one-time items of 61 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Revenue rose 3.9% to about $4 billion, helped by an increase in health plan services premium revenue, as well as higher revenue from government contracts.
Total health plan enrollment fell 3.8% from a year earlier to about 3.6 million members.
Health Net narrowed its forecast range for full-year earnings excluding special items to $2.25 to $2.30 a share, taking 5 cents off the top end of its previously forecast range.
Health Net shares rose 86 cents, or 5.7%, to $16.09.