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Centene to cut 3,000 jobs after reporting losses in 4th quarter of 2020

The Clayton health insurance giant will cut 3,000 positions and eliminate 1,500 open positions

ST. LOUIS — Centene Corp. CEO Michael Neidorff said Tuesday that the Clayton health insurance giant (NYSE: CNC) will cut 3,000 positions and eliminate 1,500 open positions, representing about 6% of its workforce, as the company reported a fourth-quarter loss.

Neidorff said during a call with investors that the reductions are in areas where the company has "significant overlap" from acquisitions "and where we have opportunities to leverage our size and scale for increased efficiency." He did not offer any details on whether, or to what degree, the cuts will hit the firm's workforce in St. Louis, where as of June it employed 5,500 workers. A company spokeswoman, Marcela Hawn, didn't address questions about where the cuts would take place, but said affected workers could be considered for 1,700 open positions, including in technology, and that outgoing employees would get job transition counseling, subsidized COBRA for benefits and severance pay. Clayton officials said in December that the company has paused development of a second phase of its huge headquarters, including another new office tower, hotel, residential units, a civic auditorium and parking.

Neidorff said the personnel move was being made to meet "margin expectations and expansion objectives."

The company reported that during the fourth quarter, revenue climbed 48% compared with the prior-year period, to $25.5 billion. But the company lost $12 million in the quarter, compared with a $209 million profit in the same period of 2019. For all of 2020, Centene reported that revenues rose 49%, to $111.1 billion, compared with 2019. Profit totaled $1.8 billion, compared with $1.3 billion in 2019. Centene's stock was up more than 3% Tuesday, at more than $60 a share as of the afternoon.

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