HARTFORD, Conn., July 8, 2004 — Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) announced today that the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation approved a tax refund, including interest, of approximately $740 million (after tax). Aetna expects to receive the cash refund during 2004, and currently anticipates that it will use these monies to fund capital deployment initiatives, particularly share repurchases. Aetna did not repurchase any of its shares in the open market in the second quarter, but will now be resuming this program.
The refund relates to businesses that were sold by the company in the 1990s and will be recorded by Aetna as income from discontinued operations in the third quarter of 2004. As such, it will increase third quarter 2004 net income, but will not affect the company’s income from continuing operations.
This approval by the Joint Committee also finalizes the Internal Revenue Service’s audit of Aetna’s tax returns for the years 1991 through 2001. As a result of the resolution of these audits, the company will also be recording favorable adjustments to its existing tax liability reserves in the third quarter of 2004 as income from discontinued operations.
As one of the nation’s leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 13.3 million medical members, 11.2 million dental members, 8.1 million pharmacy members and 12.4 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 618,000 health care professionals, including over 370,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 3,783 hospitals. For more information, please visit www.aetna.com. (Figures as of March 31, 2004).