April 25, 2017 / 10:31 AM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Health insurer Centene's quarterly profit, revenue beat Street

(Adds Q1 details, I/B/E/S estimates)

April 25 (Reuters) - Centene Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit as the health insurer benefited from its Health Net acquisition.

Centene, which primarily focuses on government-backed health insurance plans, reported a net profit of $139 million, or 79 cents per share, for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $16 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Centene earned $1.12 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.05, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

St. Louis, Missouri-based Centene bought rival Health Net for $6.30 billion last year.

Centene said it had 12.15 million members as of March. 31, an increase of 5 percent from a year earlier.

The company’s health benefits ratio, or the amount it spends on medical claims compared with its income from premiums, reduced to 87.6 percent in the quarter, from 88.7 percent.

Centene also raised its full-year 2017 adjusted profit guidance to $4.50-$4.90 per share, from $4.40-$4.85.

The company’s revenue jumped 69 percent to $11.72 billion, above analysts’ estimate of $11.42 billion. (Reporting by Divya Grover and Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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