Friday, April 25, 2008

Coventry Health Care Earnings Match Lowered Guidance [CVH]

4/25/2008 8:23:21 AM Coventry Health Care (CVH) announced a profit for the first quarter on Friday that rose from last year and matched the lowered forecast the company released in March.

The operator of health plans and insurance companies reported first-quarter net earnings of $125.03 million, or $0.81 per share. This compared to $121.74 million, or $0.76 per share, in the same period last year.

Total operating revenues increased to $2.94 billion from $2.24 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial had expected earnings of $0.81 per share on revenues of $2.98 billion.

In mid-March, the company slashed its first-quarter earnings forecast, blaming higher influenza-related medical costs and lower net investment income. At that time, the company said it expected a first-quarter profit of $0.81 per share, below its previous forecast of $0.85-$0.87 per share.

In Friday's release, the company predicted earnings in the range of $1.03 - $1.04 per share on revenues of $2.95 billion - $3.10 billion. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.10 per share on revenue of $3.07 billion for the second quarter.

For the full-year 2008, the company still expects earnings in the range of $4.39 - $4.50 per share on revenue of $11.99 billion - $12.49 billion. Analysts expect earnings of $4.43 per share on revenue of $12.37 billion.

Dale Wolf, chief executive officer of Coventry, said in a press release, "We are on track for another year of industry leading revenue growth and remain very confident about our strategic positioning and growth prospects for the future."