PacifiCare First-Quarter Profit Declines, Total Revenue Increases
On a conference call with investors Thursday, PacifiCare Health Systems CEO Howard Phansteil attributed a 5% decline in first-quarter profit to increasing hospital, physician and pharmaceutical costs, the Los Angeles Times reports. Cypress-based PacifiCare reported a decrease in first-quarter net income to $67 million, or 71 cents per share, from $70.8 million, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier. First-quarter earnings were eight cents per share higher than Wall Street analysts had estimated. The company's total revenue increased 8% to $2.96 billion from $2.74 billion the previous year, results that PacifiCare attributed to increases in premiums. The company also credits the increase to overall membership growth which was "particularly strong" in small group plans, according to the Times. PacifiCare also increased its expected earnings for the year to between $3.07 and $3.17 per share from an earlier estimate of between $2.95 and $3.05 per share. Phansteil said that he was "pleased with the first-quarter performance" of the company. He added that PacifiCare is "in position to possibly grow by making an acquisition," the Times reports (Girion, Los Angeles Times, 4/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.