Aug 3, 2017

Aetna adds to thriving health insurance earnings season

Bill Sikes / AP

Aetna's stock traded higher Thursday after the health insurer raked in immense second-quarter profits and raised expectations for the rest of the year.

Aetna's Q2 numbers: Net profit climbed 52% year over year to $1.2 billion. Revenue dropped slightly to $15.5 billion. Aetna also collected more premiums from Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs than commercial, job-based programs for the second straight quarter.

The big picture: UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, Humana and now Aetna each blew away Wall Street's profit projections this quarter, providing further proof that the largest health insurance companies are arguably the strongest they've ever been. It's also worth noting that those four insurers either exited or scaled back participation in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, and they benefited from the suspension of the ACA's health insurance tax.

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46 mins ago - Technology

Trump and Zuckerberg share phone call amid social media furor

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In the week that President Trump took on social media, Axios has learned that he had a call Friday with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that was described by both sides as productive.

Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.

NYPD commissioner: "I'm extremely proud" of officers' response to protests

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in February. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a public statement Sunday that he is "extremely proud" of the New York City Police Department's response to protests over the death of George Floyd Saturday night, writing: "What we saw in New York City last night and the night before was not about peaceful protest of any kind."

Why it matters: New York City residents captured several instances of police officers using excessive force against demonstrators. In one video, two NYPD SUVs are seen ramming into protesters who were blocking a road and throwing traffic cones at the vehicles.