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Humana Lifts 2020 Medicare Membership Outlook; Shares Rise 4%

·2 min read

Shares of Humana rose 3.6% on Tuesday after the health insurance company raised its Medicare Advantage membership growth outlook for 2020.

The company lifted its individual Medicare Advantage membership growth forecast to approximately 375,000 members, from its previous guidance range of 330,000 - 360,000 members. Meanwhile, Humana (HUM) continues to expect 2020 group Medicare Advantage net membership to increase by approximately 90,000 members year-over-year.

In the third quarter, the company earned $3.08 per share topping analysts’ estimates of $2.81. EPS declined 38.8% year-over-year. 3Q revenues of $20.1 billion grew 23.6% and came ahead of consensus estimates of $18.6 billion.

As for 2020, Humana updated its adjusted EPS guidance range to $18.50 - $18.75, compared with the previous range of $18.25 - $18.75. Analysts were looking for $18.96 per share.

Humana’s CEO Bruce Broussard said that "We continue to see more Medicare beneficiaries choosing Medicare Advantage (MA) plans over Medicare-Fee-For-Service due to MA's ever-increasing value proposition." (See HUM stock analysis on TipRanks).

Following the earnings results, Oppenheimer analyst Michael Wiederhorn maintained a Buy rating and a price target of $460 (8.6% upside potential) on the stock. The analyst said that the company only tweaked its 2020 EPS estimates, due to “the utilization pick-up and related COVID costs/assistance efforts.” He noted that “Overall results were strong, as the company remains well-positioned for 2021.”

Currently, the Street has a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock. The Moderate Buy analyst consensus is based on 11 Buys and 5 Holds. The average price target of $454.25 implies upside potential of about 7.3% to current levels. Shares have increased by about 15.5% year-to-date.

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