UPDATE 1-Humana quarterly profit falls, but beats expectations
Feb 4 (Reuters) - Humana Inc reported lower fourth-quarter earnings that still exceeded its own and analysts' expectations as the health insurer kept control of rising costs.
The company said on Monday that net income had fallen to $192 million, or $1.19 a share, from $199 million, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $9.56 billion from $9.06 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.06 per share and revenue of $9.73 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Humana backed the outlook it gave in November for 2013 earnings of $7.60 to $7.80 per share, saying it expected to benefit from improved operating results and its Metropolitan Health Networks Inc acquisition.
The company said the costs of providing benefits in its retail business had risen, but operating expenses for this group, combined with healthcare for employer groups, had fallen. Operating expenses for its military healthcare contract rose, the company said.
Humana, which has a large business providing Medicare and Medicaid healthcare, has struggled with rising costs and downward pressure on payments from the U.S. government for medical services.