Humana Inc.’s stock rallied 5% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the health insurance company topped earnings estimates for the second quarter and said the rush by seniors for pandemic-delayed surgeries had abated. The news sent stocks of rivals higher too, after they were beaten down in June by reports of a spike in knee and hip surgeries by Medicare Advantage customers that were raising costs for insurers.
Louisville, Ky.-based Humana
posted per-share earnings of $7.66 for the quarter, up from $5.48 a year ago. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $8.94, ahead of the $8.76 FactSet consensus. Revenue rose to $26.747 billion from $23.662 billion a year ago, also ahead of the $25.825 billion FactSet consensus. The company said its benefits expense ratio rose to 86.3% from 85.8% a year ago, but was within the previously provided guidance range of 86.3% to 87.3% for 2023, which Humana reaffirmed. For insurers, a higher expense ratio means higher costs to provide insurance. Humana said it now expects full-year adjusted EPS of at least $28.25, which compares with a FactSet consensus of …