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Humana Tops Estimates, Lifts 2009 Guidance

First-quarter earnings at the health and benefits company topped estimates and the company raised full-year earnings guidance to $6.10 to $6.20 a share.

Updated from 6:22 a.m. EDT



reported first-quarter earnings of $205.7 million, or $1.22 a share, ahead of internal guidance, as it experienced "solid" operating performance in both its government and commercial segments.

The health and benefits company also raised its full-year earnings guidance to $6.10 to $6.20 a share, reflecting improvements in its government segment partially offset by offset by lower expected investment income and commercial membership.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Humana to earn $1.18 a share in the first quarter. Management previously said it expected Humana to earn $1.10 to $1.20 a share. Analyst forecasts call for the company to earn $5.90 a share for the full year.

In the year-earlier first quarter, the company earned $80.2 million, or 47 cents a share.

Revenue rose 11% to $7.71 billion from $6.96 billion a year earlier.

Medicare Advantage membership jumped 16% in the quarter, while commercial plan membership rose less than 1%. Other major insurers have seen commercial membership fall with employment.

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