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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flu down; Profit Up at Aetna

On Tuesday Aetna Inc. lifted its 2010 earnings forecast a second time after the firm reported milder-than-expected flu season. The good news about flu this year tacked one more positive in an earnings season that has been dominated by profit results and increasingly positive projections.

The firm now projects that their operating earnings may reach $3.05 to $3.15 a share in the upcoming quarter. That’s significantly up from their earlier forecast of $2.75 to $2.85 in April.

In further positive economic stimulus, Aetna's Chief Financial Officer Joseph Zubretsky said that in addition to healthy profit for the firm in the second half of 2010, the company will also increase their spending to upgrade computer systems.

For the 2Q 2010, net income rose 42 percent to $491 million easily topping most medical market analyst expectations.

Source:  Aetna


  1. Are you concerned that the regional manufacturing indexes seem to be contracting? A sign of a significant slowdown in Q3 and Q4?

  2. Bill,

    Not at this point. On the contrary most U.S. manufacturing indexes are still signalling healthy growth in manufacturing. Some of the indexes have pulled back, pointing to an slowing of acceleration, but that is a far cry from contraction.

    Given continued good earnings outlooks, I'd predict a very healthy Q3 and Q4...


  3. Can you reconcile the weaker than expected Q2 GNP and big drops in the ECRI growth index with the upbeat corporate outlooks for Q3 and Q4? If growth is between 2-3% for the year, won't it be difficult to have any job growth?

  4. Bill,

    Much of the data that will be reported this week will give a much better picture on the manufacturing, jobs, and housing for the balance of the year. At this point upward momentum in jobs growth is still the trend.

  5. In fact, the ISM manufacturing report on business shows manufacturing activity continuing to grow at a healthy rate and jobs growth in the sector continuing to grow... now for 8 straight months.


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