Centene Lowers 2012 Earnings Guidance

ST. LOUIS– Centene Corporation (CNC) has revised its 2012 earnings guidance to $1.45 to $1.65 per diluted share, down from previous projections of $2.64 to $2.84 per diluted share.

For 2011, Centene posted income of $2.12 per diluted share.

At the close of Big Board trading Friday, the stock was selling for $28.19 a share. Prior to the revised earnings announcement, the shares were in the $35 range last week.

The company said higher than expected medical costs caused the lower estimates. The company expects to lose money on the Kentucky Health Plan and the Hidalgo service area in its Texas Health Plan. The company also expects to lose money on Celtic, its individual health plan.

In Kentucky and Texas non-inpatient claims drove up costs. The company continues to experience high medical costs for its individual health policies.

The Celtic unit is losing money, but the company values the goodwill and intangible assets of the program at approximately $28.0 million, which is not reflected in the revised guidance.

The Company has provided additional detail, including corrective actions for Texas, Kentucky and Celtic online.

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