08/03/2017 02:31 EDT | Updated 08/03/2017 02:40 EDT

Insurer Aetna beats 2Q forecasts, hikes 2017 outlook

Aetna Inc.'s second-quarter profit jumped 52 per cent, topping Wall Street estimates, and the health insurer raised its 2017 forecast again, this time well beyond analyst projections.

The nation's third largest health insurer said Thursday that it now expects adjusted earnings of between $9.45 and $9.55 per share for the year, a big hike from its previous forecast for $8.80 to $9 per share.

FactSet says analysts expect earnings of $8.98 per share, on average.

Net income jumped to $1.2 billion from $791 million at the Hartford, Connecticut, insurer. Adjusted results totalled $3.42 per share, and revenue excluding capital gains and losses came to $15.5 billion.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $2.37 per share in the second quarter on $15.24 billion in revenue.