August 2, 2018

Aetna’s 2Q net slightly higher on tax relief, lower benefit costs

Aetna's Hartford headquarters.

Hartford health insurer Aetna on Thursday reported a slight uptick in second-quarter earnings helped by lower taxes and lower benefit expenses.

For the three months ended June 30, Aetna recorded net income of $1.21 billion, or $3.67 a diluted share, up 1 percent from $1.2 billion, or $3.60 a diluted share, netted the same quarter last year.

Revenue was essentially flat during the quarter at $15.5 billion, the insurer said.

During the quarter, Aetna said its benefits costs, or what it pays to cover customers' medical bills, fell 4 percent to $10.7 billion, while it's overall effective tax rate fell to 27 percent from 35 percent, thanks to federal tax cuts.

Meantime, CVS Health's approximately $69 billion proposed acquisition of Aetna is expected close in the second half of 2018.

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