Humana Inc said quarterly profit jumped 44 percent, in line with Wall Street targets, as the improved performance of its Medicare plans for the elderly offset weakness in its plans serving employers.

Humana slightly raised its full-year profit forecast, a move that had been expected after it won an extension of a military health contract, but the new forecast came in below the average analyst estimate.

Humana, one of the largest Medicare providers, raised its forecast for membership in its full-service Medicare plans, but lowered projections for its commercial plans serving employers.

Fourth-quarter net income rose to $250.7 million, or $1.48 per share, matching the average estimate of analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The results compared with $174.1 million, or $1.03 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $7.37 billion. Analysts looked for $7.78 billion.

Enrollment in its full-service Medicare Advantage plans rose 5 percent to nearly 1.51 million at the end of the year, but was down slightly from the end of September.

Profit in its government segment that includes Medicare soared 69 percent to $452.3 million. The company faced lower prescription drug claim costs than a year earlier, when the design of one of its prescription drug plans led to steep costs.

Its commercial segment that includes plans serving employers reported a loss of $53.6 million against a loss of $6.3 million a year ago. The company cited higher medical and administrative costs for the segment.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana slightly raised its full-year earnings forecast to $5.15 to $5.35 per share, compared to a range of $5.05 to $5.25 previously. Analysts looked for $5.41.

The company had signaled earlier it would raise its forecast after it won an extension of its Tricare military contract through the first quarter of 2011.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Derek Caney)