LOS ANGELES — Health insurer Health Net Inc. said Monday it was profitable in the first quarter and raised its forecast for the full year.
Health Net said its commercial business is doing better because fewer people are seeing doctors or undergoing medical procedures, which keeps its spending down. The company's revenue fell 1 percent compared to a year ago, but health plan service expenses fell by about 3 percent.
Shares of Health Net rose $1.29, or 4.6 percent, to $29.44 in afternoon trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $16.65 to $36.90.
The company said its net income totaled $50.1 million, or 62 cents per share. A year ago the company lost $26.6 million, or 32 cents per share, as it absorbed several charges. Among them were a $67 million charge from delayed claims that were more costly than expected, $23 million related to Northeast operations it sold, and $18.5 million in costs from a Medicare prescription drug business it sold to CVS Caremark Corp.
Revenue slipped 1 percent to $2.8 billion from $2.83 billion.
Analysts were expecting earnings of 41 cents per share on $2.8 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
Health Net administers Medicaid and Medicare coverage and works with TriCare, which provides health insurance for active and retired military members and their families. It also provides behavioral health, substance abuse and employee assistance programs. The company said provides and administers benefits for about 5.4 million people.
For the full year Health Net expects to earn between $2.20 and $2.30 per share, up from its previous estimate of $2 to $2.10 per share. It is still forecasting $10.7 billion to $11.2 billion in revenue.
Analysts are projecting earnings of $2.07 per share on $11.37 billion in revenue on average.