Lincoln National Corp. overcame the unusual-charge blues plaguing many other insurers during the third quarter and turned in a solid increase in profits.[@@]

Lincoln National, Philadelphia, is reporting $229 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.4 billion in revenue, up from $200 million in net income on $1.4 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2004.

In other earnings news:

- Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, is reporting $219 million in net income for the third quarter on $2.2 billion in revenue, compared with $299 million in net income on $2.1 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2004.

Principal’s net income for the third quarter of 2004 included $104 million in revenue from a mortgage lending unit that the company has sold to Citigroup Inc., New York.

- UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., managed to turn a profit despite taking a $52 million charge in connection with efforts to settle with California insurance regulators over complaints about its approach to handling claims.

UnumProvident is reporting $53 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.5 billion in revenue, compared with $168 million in net income on $2.7 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2004.

UnumProvident has been in engaging in widely publicized efforts to increase rates and walk way from unprofitable accounts. In recent quarters, that has led to big decreases in sales.

During the third quarter, total group long-term disability insurance premium revenue fell 4.9%, to $626 million, but sales of fully insured group LTD insurance increased 16%, to $28 million, and sales of group short-term disability increased 39%, to $11.5 million, UnumProvident says.

- CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, is reporting $259 million in net income for the third quarter on $4 billion in revenue, compared with $308 million in net income on $4.5 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2004.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 9.1 million people, down from 9.9 people a year earlier.

- Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky., is reporting $50 million in net income for the third quarter on $3.8 billion in revenue, compared with $84 million in net income on $3.2 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2004.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 7 million people, up from 6 million people a year earlier.

Net income includes a $45 million charge for settling a class-action suit filed on behalf of physicians who have objected to Humana’s approach to handling claims and working with physicians.

- Health Net Inc., Los Angeles, is reporting $78 million in net income for the third quarter on $3.1 billion in revenue, up from $72 million in net income on $2.9 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2004.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 6.4 million people, down from 7.4 million people a year earlier.

Some managed care companies have reported relatively modest commercial rate increases, but Health Net says it has been pushing for higher commercial rates. The company increased the average amount of revenue per commercial member about 11% between the third quarter of 2004 and the latest quarter, Health Net says.