Standard & Poor’s has upgraded its outlook Coventry Health Care Inc. after the company reported improved income.

S&P, New York, revised our outlook on Coventry, Bethesda, Md., to stable from negative after the insurer reported strong earning for the first nine months of 2010. Coventry’s earnings “have been strong and ahead of our expectations, indicating that its core business fundamentals have stabilized following the stress period of late 2008 to mid 2009,” S&P, New York, said.

S&P also affirmed it BBB- counterparty credit rating on the company.

Among other improvements, Coventry has enhanced pricing, cut operating costs, and made important strategic decisions, such as leaving the Medicare private fee-for-service business, S&P said.

-Trevor Thomas