Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) reported its first quarter earnings, as its profit fell 21%. The insurance firm paid out more in claims, and also shored up its spending in order to meet the growing demands of its Medicare Advantage membership. The company however did well in its share reporting, coming strong with an increase in earning per share of $7.55 to $7.75. This was more than the forecasted $7.50 to $7.70 per share.
Humana said that claims paid were more in the employer segments as well as in the retail segment. It was however, the Medicare Advantage plans that made the most gains for the company. Humana board chairman and CEO Michael B. McCallister was confident that although the overall profits were down, the company was poised to perform well in the coming quarters in lieu of added memberships in Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans.
In a similar tale, performance for NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) slumped and it had a reduction of 44% in net profit. Although 4.3 million shares were repurchased in the first quarter, transaction earning fell down 25%, and this seems to have scared away investors. Furthermore, expenses brought about by an impending merger seem to have reduced revenues for the company and slowed its growth predictions. But the company’s CEO was of the opinion that once the merge was sealed then new streams of revenue would come up, and this would lead to higher profits as well as an increase in shares per price.
However, Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE:WPI">NYSE:WPI) had a good showing with first quarter earning rising 22%, as the giant drug marker reported increased revenue from a boost in new generic drugs. Its distribution business and branded pharmaceuticals also had a good quarter with both of them reporting growth in the double digits. Its share per earning rose from $5.55 to &5.80, and revenue estimates were increased from $100 million to $5.5 billion.
This great performance can be attributed to its acquisition of Actavis, the Swiss rival pharmaceutical company. In fact, with this move Watson became the third largest generic drug maker in the world. But the introduction of Pfizer Inc.’s (NYSE:PFE) cholesterol drug, Lipitor has helped buoy sales for the giant pharmaceutical, as well as the introduction of Concerta, an attention deficit treatment regime from Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ). In fact, these two new entrants helped increase revenue by almost 86%.
Lastly, Loews Corp.’s (L) earnings for the first quarter were acceptable to shareholders because the firm reported a net income of $367 million. This was a reduction when compared to earnings of $379 million in the same quarter of 2011.
This decease in net earnings for the corporation was based on lowered earnings from HighMount Exploration, Production LLC and Diamond Offshore Drilling. However, the lowered earnings were offset by good performances from CAN Financial Corp that gained over 14% in profits. The increase in income and profits margins for CNA is attributed to lowered catastrophe losses, as well as higher fixed securities.
Therefore, this first quarter presented a mixed showing for major companies, with some doing well, but others looking for better performance in the next quarter.