INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Health insurer Aetna Inc.'s fourth-quarter net income jumped 73 percent, as it continued to benefit from low use of health care and some key expenses fell.
The Hartford, Conn., insurer's earnings and revenue topped Wall Street expectations due in part to slower-than-expected growth in health care use, a trend that has helped insurers routinely outperform the past several quarters. Many analysts expect this trend to continue into 2012.
Aetna said Wednesday that it earned $372.6 million, or $1.02 per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That's up from $215.6 million, or 53 cents per share, in the 2010 quarter.