By Austen Hufford

Humana Inc. said revenue fell and it swung to a loss in its latest quarter, and it postponed its earnings call and the release of its 2017 guidance after a federal judge last week blocked its proposed merger with Aetna Inc. on antitrust grounds.

The move to hold off on releasing its forecast until Feb. 16 will allow the company to evaluate the court's decision and its impact on future results, it said.

Chief Executive Bruce D. Broussard said the company faced a complex operating environment during 2016 due to the extended transaction process. Humana and Aetna first entered into a merger agreement in July 2015, and the deadline has been extended twice.

The company also said that James E. Murray, its chief operating officer, would retire in March. Humana doesn't expect to fill the position.

In all for the quarter, Humana posted a loss of $486 million, or $2.68 a share, compared with year-earlier profit of $246 million, or 67 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding certain items, the company said it earned $2.09 a share.

Revenue fell 3.6% to $12.88 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $13.55 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $2.05.

Humana's individual Medicare Advantage membership rose 3.1% to 2.8 million in the latest quarter compared with a year before. The company also added 10,400 enrollees in January, an important enrollment period. Humana's consolidated medical-loss ratio, or the share of premiums paid out for members' health expenses, grew to 89.2% from 85.8% in the prior-year quarter.The company's loss in the quarter comes from a previously-announced write-off in receivables associated with a risk corridor premium stabilization program and adding to reserves for the company's block of long-term care insurance business.

Shares of the company were inactive premarket.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 08, 2017 08:05 ET (13:05 GMT)

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