UnitedHealth's quarterly profit rises 30%

Industries Reuters

(Reuters)

UnitedHealth Group, the largest U.S. health insurer, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by growth across its businesses and raised its full-year earnings forecast.

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The insurer's results comes after a second attempt to pass a healthcare legislation in the Senate collapsed late on Monday, with U.S. President Donald Trump calling for an outright repeal of Obamacare and others seeking a change in direction toward bipartisanship.

UnitedHealth, which sells employer-based insurance as well as Medicare and Medicaid, said net earnings attributable to shareholders rose to $2.28 billion, or $2.32 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $1.75 billion or $1.81 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, UnitedHealth earned $2.46 per share, beating average estimate of $2.38, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue from the company's OptumRx business rose about 10 percent to $22.7 billion. OptumRx administers drug benefits for the company's insurance clients.

Total revenue rose 7.7 percent to $50.05 billion, largely in line with estimates.

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The insurer said its withdrawal from Obamacare individual markets, combined with the health insurance tax deferral, reduced second-quarter revenue by about $1.8 billion and lowered the revenue growth rate by 4.5 percent.

The company raised its forecast for 2017 net earnings to $9.20 to $9.35 per share and adjusted net earnings to $9.75 to $9.90 per share.

UnitedHealth had earlier forecast earnings of $9.10 to $9.30 per share and adjusted earnings of $9.65 to $9.85 per share.

 

(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)