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Health insurer Aetna's 4Q profit jumps 73 percent
Health insurer Aetna reports 4th-quarter profit jumps 73 percent, helped by lower medical use
By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) ' Health insurer Aetna says its fourth-quarter net income jumped 73 percent, as it continued to benefit from low medical utilization and some key expenses fell.

The Hartford, Conn., insurer earned $372.6 million, or $1.02 per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That's up from $215.6 million, or 53 cents per share, in the 2010 quarter. Revenue climbed slightly to $8.57 billion.

Earnings excluding capital gains and other items were 97 cents per share.

Analysts forecast earnings of 96 cents per share on $8.43 billion in revenue.

Aetna is the third largest commercial health insurer based on both enrollment and revenue, trailing WellPoint and UnitedHealth. Its medical membership fell slightly, to about 18.5 million people, compared with the 2010 quarter.

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