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On Tuesday Aetna Inc. lifted its 2010 earnings forecast a second time after the firm reported milder-than-expected flu season. The good news about flu this year tacked one more positive in an earnings season that has been dominated by profit results and increasingly positive projections.

The firm now projects that their operating earnings may reach $3.05 to $3.15 a share in the upcoming quarter. That’s significantly up from their earlier forecast of $2.75 to $2.85 in April.

In further positive economic stimulus, Aetna's Chief Financial Officer Joseph Zubretsky said that in addition to healthy profit for the firm in the second half of 2010, the company will also increase their spending to upgrade computer systems.

For the 2Q 2010 net income rose 42 percent to $491 million, easily topping most medical market analyst expectations. (Chart source: Aetna)

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Source: Flu Down, Profit Up at Aetna