You are here: Home » Reuters » News
Business Standard

UnitedHealth profit beats on strong growth across businesses

Reuters 

(Reuters) - Inc on Tuesday posted a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street estimates, fueled by growth in its core and health-services businesses and raised its earnings forecast for the year.

Shares of UnitedHealth rose 1.3 percent to $233.25 in premarket trading.

The largest U.S. health insurer has been adding more physicians through a series of acquisitions, helping drive its customer base, which grew by 2.2 million in the first quarter.

Revenue from the business rose 13.3 percent to $45.46 billion, while revenue from the Optum unit, which houses its pharmacy benefits management business, grew 11.1 percent to $23.6 billion.

UnitedHealth's medical care ratio, or the percentage of premiums paid out for medical services, improved to 81.4 percent from 82.4 percent a year earlier, due primarily to a health tax, which came into effect in the first quarter.

The company raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to a range of $12.40 to $12.65 per share from a range of $12.30 to $12.60 per share.

The sector has witnessed a number of big takeover deals in the past year as companies consider various options to stay competitive.

Recent deals include insurer Aetna Inc's $69 billion merger with and smaller rival buying the largest independent pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts Holding Co, for $54 billion.

UnitedHealth's net earnings attributable to shareholders rose to $2.84 billion, or $2.87 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31 from $2.17 billion, or $2.23 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $3.04 per share.

Total revenue rose 13.3 percent to $55.19 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $2.89 per share on revenue of $54.86 billion, according to Thomson I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by and Anil D'Silva)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 17:07 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU