Health care insurer Health Net Inc. on Tuesday reaffirmed its earnings guidance for fiscal 2008 and outlined expectations for 2009.

Woodland Hills-based Health Net said it expects earnings per share of $2.25 to 2.40 on revenue of $15.5 to $16 billion in fiscal 2009. This is higher than the consensus of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call, who on average expect EPS of $2.05 on $15.3 billion revenue.

For 2009, the company said earnings drivers are expected to come from the Medicare area, while it expects the ongoing state budget crisis will put downward pressure on Medi-Cal revenues.

The insurer earlier this month reported third-quarter net income that came in well below expectations in part due to higher medical costs. It also cut its 2008 profit outlook to 96 cents to $1.02 per share, primarily due to expected higher medical costs.

HealthNet shares closed up 40 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $9.28 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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