PacifiCare Predicts ‘Little Change’ in First-Quarter Profit from Last Year
Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems, the nation's largest operator of Medicare health plans, said it expects that its first-quarter profits will be "little changed" from those the same time last year, Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times reports. The company anticipates its net income to be between 85 cents and 95 cents a share for the quarter, compared to 87 cents a share a year earlier (Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times, 1/9). PacifiCare said it expects to benefit from "strong commercial premium rate increases, an improved commercial medical loss ratio and the continued strong performance of its specialty businesses," the Associated Press reports. The company said it expects 2003 operating revenue to drop 1% to 2% from 2002 because of expected membership declines of around 4% in its commercial business and around 1% in its senior business. PacifiCare says the drop in commercial HMO business is partly the result of the loss of its 185,000-member account with CalPERS (Associated Press, 1/8). Analysts expect PacifiCare will earn 90 cents a share for the first quarter and $4.21 for the year, Bloomberg/Times reports (Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times, 1/9).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.