Dividend stock Aetna (NYSE:AET) had a blowout first quarter, with strong operating revenue up 47% to almost $14 billion. That top-line growth helped push operating earnings per share to $1.98 from $1.56 in last year's first quarter. En route to shattering analyst expectations, Aetna reported new members from a variety of sources -- 60,000 from Medicaid, 130,000 from Medicare Advantage, 130,000 from private exchanges, and 230,000 from the public exchanges.

Aetna did a better job ensuring that revenue from those members flowed through to the bottom line as well, with a medical benefit ratio (the proportion of premium revenue paid out in medical costs) improving to 80%, with the government medical benefit ratio improving three percentage points to 85%.

In this video from Friday's Market Checkup, Motley Fool health care analysts Michael Douglass and David Williamson cover the other major takeaways from the earnings report.

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David Williamson owns shares of UnitedHealth Group. Michael Douglass has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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