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Aetna beats hopes in 2015 but lowers 2016 guidance

The firm tempered expectations for the current year with a lower than expected earnings forecast.

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The US insurance giant said its growth in 2015 was due to a hike in membership and premiums

Health insurer Aetna (NYSE:AET) topped market hopes and confirmed it is to go ahead with the planned acquisition of rival Humana this year.

The US insurance giant said its growth in 2015 was due to a hike in membership and premiums due to the take-up of Medicare and Medicaid health plans.

Net income for its latest quarter rose 38% to more than US$320mln, or 91 cents per share compared to the same period the previous year.

On the year, Aetna achieved record annual operating revenue and operating earnings, and delivered full-year operating EPS that was above its most recent projection, according to chief executive Mark Bertolini.

But the firm tempered expectations for the current year with a lower than expected earnings forecast.

Aetna also said it was working with the Department of Justice and state regulators for its planned US$37bn acquisition of Humana, and has gained seven of the needed state approvals for the deal.

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NYSE:AET
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