Health insurer Centene’s quarterly profit beats estimates

Oct 24 (Reuters) – Health insurer Centene Corp’s quarterly earnings beat analysts’ estimates due to increased membership and growth in its Obamacare business.

Centene’s results come at a time when there is tremendous uncertainty in the health insurance industry.

President Donald Trump said earlier this month that his administration would stop paying billions of dollars in subsidies that help health insurers give discounts to low-income households.

Since then, Trump has alternately supported, and dismissed, an effort by Republican and Democratic senators that would reinstate the subsidies for two years until a broader replacement to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, can be negotiated.

Centene, which primarily focuses on government-sponsered health plans, said net earnings attributable rose nearly 40 percent to $205 million, or $1.16 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.35 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.25, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company’s total revenue rose to $11.90 billion from $10.85 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $11.78 billion. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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