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.”