INDIANAPOLIS ( TheStreet) -- Humana ( HUM), the health insurer, earned $2.54 a share on an adjusted basis in the third quarter, topping analysts' estimates, and it raised guidance for 2011.

Analysts were expecting third-quarter profit of $2.03 a share.

Revenue rose 11% to $9.3 billion; analysts were expecting $8.35 billion.

"Our favorable results in the third quarter and year to date reflect strong operating performance across multiple businesses," said Michael McCallister, Humana's chairman and CEO, in a statement Monday. "In Medicare, our clear focus on strong financial protection and higher quality coordinated health care for seniors represents a powerful value proposition, and continues to drive membership growth, now nearly 4.5 million people."

Net income in the quarter $444.8 million, or $2.67 a share, up 13% from $393.2 million, or $2.32 a share, a year earlier. The latest quarter included 13 cents a share of favorable prior-period reserve development.

Humana said it expects earnings in 2011 of $8.35 to $8.40 a share, up from its previous estimate of $7.50 to $7.60 a share. The estimate for 2011 includes 57 cents a share of favorable prior-year reserve development.

It projects earnings for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012, of $7.40 to $7.60 a share, excluding future share repurchases, Humana said.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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