Centene Corporation Announces 2013 Financial Guidance And Revises 2012 Financial Guidance

    Centene Corporation Announces 2013 Financial Guidance And Revises 2012
                              Financial Guidance

PR Newswire

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 14, 2012

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC)
announced today its 2013 financial guidance. For its 2013 fiscal year, the
Company expects:

  oPremium and Service Revenues in the range of $9.7 billion to $10.0
    billion.
  oEarnings per diluted share of approximately $2.60 to $2.90.
  oConsolidated Health Benefits Ratio of approximately 88.0% to 89.0%.
  oConsolidated G&A expense ratio in the range of 9.0% to 9.5%.
  oEffective tax rate, excluding non-controlling interest, of approximately
    40.0% to 41.0%.
  oDiluted shares outstanding of approximately 54.8 million to 55.2 million.
  oDays in claims payable between 39 and 44.

Additionally, the Company updated its 2012 guidance as follows:

                                           Full Year 2012
                                            High     Low
Premium and Service Revenues (in millions)  $ 8,100  $ 8,300
Diluted EPS                                 $ 0.10   $ 0.20
Consolidated Health Benefits Ratio          91.0 %   92.0 %
General & Administrative expense ratio      8.5 %    8.8 %
Diluted Shares Outstanding (in thousands)   53,600   53,800

The change in 2012 diluted EPS guidance to $0.10 to $0.20 from $0.56 to $0.66
is due to higher medical costs associated with: 1) an earlier and more
intensive flu season in our largest markets; 2) an increase to our previously
disclosed premium deficiency reserve for Kentucky;and 3) in Texas, the
off-cycle transfer of higher acuity members from another health plan and
higher than anticipated utilization in our Hidalgo Star and Medicaid Rural
Service Areas (MRSA) business.

In regards tothe latter, our Texas health plan has been in direct discussions
with the State concerning these issues. We received a written confirmation
acknowledging the issues including the impact "of the negative effects of one
Health Plan's efforts to shift higher acuity membership to its competitors."
The State also confirmed their commitment to rectify the matter as soon as
possible. We anticipate any such adjustments will be made in the first
quarter of 2013.

Full year 2012 earnings will be reported on February 5, 2013, at 6:00 AM, with
the conference call at 8:30 AM (Eastern Time).

Centene Corporation will host an investor meeting today, including a
question-and-answer session, to discuss the details of its guidance. The
meeting will begin promptly at 8:30 AM (Eastern Time) and end approximately at
11:00 AM (Eastern Time). Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, and William N. Scheffel, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial
Officer and Treasurer, of Centene Corporation will host the meeting before an
audience of investors at The Plaza on East 58^th Street in New York City.

Investors and other interested parties who are unable to attend in person are
invited to listen to the investor meeting via a live, audio webcast on the
Company's website at www.centene.com, under the Investors section. In
addition, questions can be submitted via e-mail at: Questions@centene.com.

About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading multi-line healthcare
enterprise that provides programs and related services to the rising number of
under-insured and uninsured individuals. Many receive benefits provided under
Medicaid, including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as
well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and long-term care, in
addition to other state-sponsored/hybrid programs, and Medicare (Special Needs
Plans). Centene's CeltiCare subsidiary offers states unique, "exchange based"
and other cost-effective coverage solutions for low-income populations. The
Company operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance
solutions. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial
organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, life
and health management, managed vision, telehealth services, and pharmacy
benefits management.

The information provided in this press release contains forward-looking
statements that relate to future events and future financial performance of
Centene. Subsequent events and developments may cause the Company's estimates
to change. The Company disclaims any obligation to update this forward-looking
financial information in the future. Readers are cautioned that matters
subject to forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and
uncertainties, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors
that may cause Centene's or its industry's actual results, levels of activity,
performance or achievements to be materially different from any future
results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied
by these forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ from
projections or estimates due to a variety of important factors, including
Centene's ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits
and other operating expenses and reserves, competition, membership and revenue
projections, timing of regulatory contract approval, changes in healthcare
practices, changes in federal or state laws or regulations, changes in
expected contract start dates, inflation, provider and state contract changes,
new technologies, reduction in provider payments by governmental payors, major
epidemics, disasters and numerous other factors affecting the delivery and
cost of healthcare, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's
publicly filed documents. The expiration, cancellation or suspension of
Centene's Medicaid Managed Care contracts, or the loss of any appeal of or
protest to any such expiration, cancellation or suspension, by state
governments would also negatively affect Centene.

SOURCE Centene Corporation

Website: http://www.centene.com
Contact: Investor Relations Inquiries, Edmund E. Kroll, Senior Vice President,
Finance & Investor Relations, +1-212- 759-0382; Media Inquiries, Deanne Lane,
Vice President, Media Affairs, +1-314-725-4477
 
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