Centene Climbs on First-Quarter Earnings Beat - TheStreet

Government insurance giant Centene (CNC) - Get Report  was down 0.4% in trading Tuesday after the St. Louis-based company reported strong top- and bottom-line first-quarter results while also raising its 2019 forecast. 

The company reported a 40% increase in revenue to $18.44 billion and earnings of $1.39 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $17.47 billion and  earnings of $1.34.

The company also raised its 2019 revenue forecast to between $72.8 billion and $73.6 billion from its previous estimate between $70.30 billion and $71.1 billion. It said that it expects to add an additional $1 billion in payments and $700 million from its Obamacare business, which is retaining more members than it previously expected. 

"Solid first-quarter results and increased 2019 guidance are indicative of the sustainability of our profitable growth trajectory. We continue to focus on the fundamentals of the business that will drive long-term shareholder value, irrespective of headline volatility," said CEO Michael F. Neidorff. 

The jump in the company's revenue was attributed to its purchase of Fidelis Care, which it purchased for $3.75 billion last July. Last month, Centene purchased rival WellCare Health for $15.27 billion in order to bolster its government-backed Medicare and Medicaid business.