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Centene profit surges due to new contracts

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Health insurer Centene Corp reported a nearly six-fold rise in quarterly profit, helped by new contract wins and expansion of existing contracts.

Net earnings attributable to Centene rose to $53.2 million, or 93 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $9.1 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding discontinued operations, the company earned 84 cents per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Premium and services revenue rose about 33 percent to $2.9 billion.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 83 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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