Aetna has reported a net income of $586m, or $1.50 per share for the first quarter of 2011, compared to $562m, or $1.28 per share, for the same quarter of 2010.

In the first quarter of 2011, total revenues were $8.38bn, compared to $8.62bn for the same period last year.

Operating earnings for the first quarter of 2011 were $560.2m, compared to $430.6m, for the same corresponding quarter of 2010.

The increase operating earnings was largely the result of higher commercial underwriting margins from favorable development of prior-period health care cost estimates and improved underlying performance, partially offset by lower commercial insured membership.

Aetna chairman, CEO and president Mark Bertolini said the firm’s core businesses are performing well with disciplined pricing and competitive new product designs.

"The solid performance of our core business continues to generate significant cash flow to fund our investments in profitable growth opportunities, such as the acquisitions of Medicity and Prodigy Health Group," Bertolini said.