Health insurer Aetna (NYSE:AET) is watching its shares rise today after the company said it may exceed its full-year earnings forecast.
Aetna said in a regulatory filing that, based on its strong third quarter performance, it is now projecting full-year 2011 operating results will exceed its prior guidance for earnings of $4.60 to $4.70 per share.
The company said it will update its full year guidance in its third quarter earnings conference call.
Aetna made the disclosures ahead of a Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) healthcare conference today.
It also noted that in 2012, it projects that growth in its Medicare and large-group commercial risk businesses will partially offset projected commercial administrative services contract membership losses. It also plans on accretive impacts on earnings per share due to its agreement with CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) and its recent acquisitions in 2012.
Aetna shares are trading up 4.45% Tuesday.
Rival UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) is trading higher by 2.4% today, while Cigna (NYSE:CI) trades up 3.4%, and WellPoint (WLP) trades higher by 3.25%.
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