NU Online News Service, Aug. 4, 2004, 4:18 p.m. EDT

An increase in health care costs hurt profits at Health Net Inc., Los Angeles, during the second quarter.[@@]

The managed care company is reporting $41 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.9 billion in revenue, compared with $75 million in net income on $2.8 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2003.

Health Net ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 3.8 million people, down from 3.9 million people a year earlier.