Humana’s Slashed Earnings Outlook Stuns Analysts

Although a recent Humana Inc. regulatory filing had already prepared the market for a lackluster fourth-quarter earnings report, Wall Street analysts appeared to be shellshocked on Jan. 25, when the Medicare Advantage-focused insurer detailed just how much of a financial hit it expects to take from an unanticipated care utilization surge.

“Worst case scenario plays out,” Justin Lake of Wolfe Research wrote in a note to investors published shortly after Humana released its financial results — which included a newly revised 2024 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) outlook of “approximately $16.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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