Aetna ( AET) posted third-quarter operating earnings of $528.4 million, or $1.40 a share, topping analysts' estimates, on lower-than-projected utilization and disciplined pricing. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the health insurer to earn $1.15 a share. Shares were gaining 3.9% to $40.40.
U.S. Airways ( LCC) reported third-quarter profit of 51 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 48 cents a share. Earnings per share fell from $1.23 a share the same time last year. Revenue rose 8.1% to $3.4 billion. Shares were advancing 3.9% to $5.88.
Oil major Exxon ( XOM) reported third-quarter earnings of $2.13 a share, beating the average analyst estimate by a penny. Shares were rising 1.6% to $82.35.
Drug company Bristol Myers Squibb ( BMY) reported third-quarter earnings of 61 cents a share, above the average analyst estimate of 58 cents. The company also revised its full-year guidance to $2.25 to $2.30 a share from $2.20 to $2.30 a share. The earnings release comes on the heels of Bristol-Myers Squibb's announcement that it will develop a once-a-day pill to treat HIV patients by combining its Reyataz treatment with an experimental drug from Gilead Sciences ( GILD). Bristol-Myers Squibb shares were rising 1.5% to $32.98.
Tobacco maker Altria ( MO) posted third-quarter profit of 56 cents a share Thursday, in line with estimates. The company also announced a $1 billion share repurchase program. Shares were rising 1.2% to $27.60.
United Continental ( UAL) narrowly missed third-quarter estimates as rising fuel prices added $1 billion to its costs. Excluding items, the carrier reported net income of $773 million, or $2 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated $2.08. Revenue rose 8.7% to $10.2 billion. Analysts had estimated $10.1 billion. Shares were down 0.3% to $20.28.
Procter & Gamble ( PG), the consumer products giant, posted first-quarter earnings of $1.03 a share, in line with estimates, as sales rose 9% to $21.92 billion. Full-year earnings from continuing operations and core earnings are expected to be in the range of $4.17 to $4.33 a share in the fiscal year, up 6% to 10% vs. a base period core EPS of $3.95. Analysts expect fiscal-year earnings of $4.20 a share on revenue of $87.12 billion. Shares were trading sideways at $65.
Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) reported third-quarter profit doubled on higher oil prices. Europe's largest oil company earned $6.98 billion in the quarter, up from $3.46 billion a year earlier. Analysts were expecting Shell to post profit of about $6.55 billion. Shares were unchanged at $73.27. -- Written by Andrea Tse in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.