7. Humana
7. Humana
Fortune 500 rank: 79
2011 revenue: $36.8 billion
2011 total shareholder return: 61.1%
Ticker: HUM

Health insurers entered 2011 uncertain over how a new health care overhaul rule would impact the bottom line, but legislation over the percentage of premiums insurers spend on care turned out to be more manageable than expected.

In October, Louisville, KY-based Humana, the second-largest U.S. Medicare managed-care provider, saw shares rise to their highest level in almost four years after raising its profit forecast for the year. For the full year, Humana reported earnings per share of $8.46, a 31% rise from a year earlier as membership of its Medicare Advantage plan climbed and medical costs grew slower than expected. The insurer also said business in 2012 would be better than expected.

By Nin-Hai Tseng - Last updated May 07 2012: 10:52 AM ET