Centene, Humana Post Solid Second-Quarter Results

Centene Corp. and Humana Inc. both reported slightly better-than-expected second quarter 2021 results, which Wall Street met with cautious optimism. While executives from both health insurers preached caution due to the Delta variant-driven resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, analysts projected both firms to be profitable for the rest of the year.

Centene generated $1.25 in adjusted earnings per share, which beat Wall Street’s consensus EPS projection of $1.21. Meanwhile, Humana reported adjusted EPS of $6.89, exceeding Wall Street’s projected EPS of $6.83.

Delta Overshadows Centene Results

Centene CEO Michael Neidorff sounded a note of caution during a July 27 conference call discussing the results.

“With the continued rise in the highly virulent Delta strain of COVID-19, I must open our call with similar comments to those made this time last year,” Neidorff said, according to a transcript from the Motley Fool. “The variant is real, and we are taking it very seriously. You have seen us execute strongly throughout the pandemic, and that will not change, especially as it remains clear that the pandemic is not over and the environment could remain choppy for the balance of the year.”

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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