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UPDATE 1-Humana profits lower but 2012 outlook higher

Nov 5 (Reuters) - U.S. health insurer Humana Inc, which has struggled with the costs associated with a rise in membership in its Medicare Advantage program for older people, reported a lower quarterly profit on Monday, but said its results were better than it had expected.

The company also said it would buy Metropolitan Health Networks, an organization that largely serves Medicare and Medicaid members.

In addition, Humana President Bruce Broussard will take the chief executive spot starting Jan. 1. The move to CEO had been planned although the exact timing of it was uncertain.

Humana said that prescription drug plan results and favorable medical claim reserves had helped during the third quarter and were also behind a decision to raise its 2012 outlook, which it had cut last quarter.

It said third-quarter net income was $426 million, or $2.62 per share, down from $445 million, or $2.67 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $9.65 billion from $9.30 billion.

The company said it now expects 2012 earnings of $7.25 per share to $7.35 per share and 2013 earnings of $7.60 per share to $7.80 per share. It said revenue should be $39.0 billion to $39.5 billion for 2012 and $40.8 billion to $41.3 billion in 2013.

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