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(Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) on Wednesday posted better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue but shares dropped as much as 3.6 percent after it reported $426 million in higher costs on its long-delayed KC-46 aerial refueling tanker program. Analysts worry that the world’s largest planemaker’s exposure to an escalating trade fight between Washington and Beijing as well as mounting costs on the tanker program will slow Boeing shares, up more than 21 percent year to date. “The KC-46 has returned to again haunt Boeing’s results,” Vertical Research Partners analyst Robert Stallard said in a research note.

“Management has previously expressed confidence that there would be no more tanker charges, and yet they keep coming,” Stallard said, adding that the higher tanker costs came with unchanged earnings and cash flow forecasts, Chicago-based Boeing said the KC-46 program cost an additional $426 million before taxes in the quarter as the company worked through test delays and production changes to eight aircraft in various stages of production, Boeing has amassed roughly $3 billion letter e cufflinks in costs on the program, a derivative of its 767 commercial aircraft, as it works to deliver tankers to the Air Force in October - more than two years behind schedule..

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg told analysts on a post-earnings conference call that plans to complete manufacturing on the tankers was “clear, and firmed up.”. Muilenburg also said he was not surprised by the unusually high number of plane orders announced during last week’s Farnborough Airshow with unnamed buyers. Rival Airbus (AIR.PA) said the firms did not want to be identified due to jitters about appearing to side with the United States or other economic powers amid heated trade rhetoric.

“I don’t find it (the anonymity) surprising one way or the other,” Muilenburg said, adding that Chinese demand for Boeing aircraft extends far beyond a single air show, “As we think about the China-U.S trade relationships, aerospace letter e cufflinks is something that is good for both countries,” Muilenburg said, “It creates growth capacity in China, It’s helping to grow their economy, It’s growing jobs in China, And as China grows, it’s growing jobs in the U.S.”..

Despite the KC-46 problems, Boeing beat expectations on quarterly profit. Core earnings, which exclude some pension costs, were $3.33 per share, while the average analyst estimate was $3.26, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Overall revenue rose 5 percent to $24.26 billion, also topping estimates, while commercial aircraft deliveries increased by 6 percent to 194 aircraft. Boeing booked 239 net orders during the quarter, including 91 wide-body jets. For the full year, the company expects total revenue of $97 billion to $99 billion, compared with its previous estimate of $96 billion to $98 billion.

(Reuters) - Anthem Inc (ANTM.N) reported a better-than-expected profit on Wednesday, driven by higher premiums and lower patient medical costs even as fewer people enrolled in its insurance plans, Enrollment fell about 2.2 percent to 39.5 million members at the end of the quarter, hit by a decline in the number of people signing up for Medicaid as well as for its Obamacare plans, Shares of the company rose about 1 percent to $248.24 in late morning trade, Jefferies analyst David Windley said a combination of letter e cufflinks membership declines in the commercial business and lower guidance for members probably weighed on the stock..

The company has reduced its footprint in Obamacare markets, but Cantor Fitzgerald analysts said the decline in Obamcare membership in the quarter was seasonally normal and the reduction probably helped it to lower patient costs. Anthem Chief Executive Officer Gail Boudreaux said the health insurer was not looking to “rescale” the Obamcare business, but was pleased with the performance this year. “As we go into 2019, while no decisions are final yet, we are assessing that. I think you’ll see some county expansions,” Boudreaux said on a conference call with analysts.

The company’s tight control over patient costs in the quarter improved its benefit expense ratio to 83.4 percent from 86.1 percent in the year-ago period, The figure is widely watched in the sector because it measures an insurer’s expenses letter e cufflinks on claims against the premiums it earns, Last week, larger rival UnitedHealth Group (UNH.N) reported a benefit expense ratio that missed analysts’ estimates, overshadowing better-than-expected earnings, In contrast to the debates around UnitedHealth and Centene Corp (CNC.N) earnings, Anthem’s results is a cleaner benefit expense ratio-driven beat and raise that still includes conservatism for the second half of the year, Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel said in a note..

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