Health Net Inc. had a financial loss for its fiscal first quarter, showing a decline compared to the same period a year ago even with improvement in certain segments.

For its fiscal first quarter, the Woodland Hills company had a net loss of $108.2 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, on revenues of $3.5 billion. For the same period last year, the company had net income of $16.1 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, on revenues of $3.4 billion.

The company’s most recent first quarter results include a $177.2 million pretax charge related to litigation, and $11 million in pretax expenses related to the company’s administrative cost reduction efforts.

While the company had an overall loss, its Western Region Operations and Government Contracts segments had higher combined earnings year-over-year. For the most recent first quarter, the segments had earnings of $57.4 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, compared to $47.9 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, for the previous quarter.

“Our results, supported by strong commercial and Government Contracts performance, allowed us to repurchase more than five percent of our outstanding stock from January 1 through April 29, 2011,” said Jay Gellert, Health Net’s CEO.

Gellert said the company also had sequential commercial enrollment growth for the first time in several years, and the first quarter commercial medical care ratio also improved year-over-year. As a result, the company is raising its annual earnings per diluted share guidance for the combined Western Region Operations and Government Contracts segments to a range of $2.90 to $3, Gellert said.

Health Net also announced that its board of directors approved a new repurchase program with $300 million in aggregate authority. The company completed its previous repurchase program in April.

Jessica Vernabe