UnitedHealth 2Q EPS Beats Street on Enrollment Gains, But Sales Trail

Fueled by increased enrollment in its government-backed and private plans as well as increased technology sales at Optum, UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) posted a second-quarter bottom-line beat on Thursday.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based health insurer reported net earnings of $2.4 billion, or $1.40 a share, compared with a year-earlier $2.2 billion, or $1.27 a share.

The results topped average analyst estimates of $1.25 a share in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 climbed 12% to $30.4 billion from $27.3 billion a year ago, marginally missing the Street’s view of $30.49 billion.

"First half 2013 results reflect well-diversified growth and steadily strengthening performance across both our health benefits and health services businesses," UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said in a statement.

Shares of UnitedHealth were up more than 2.5% in early trade near $67.94 recently.

Also on Thursday the largest U.S. health insurer affirmed its 2013 revenue projections of $122 billion, just below the consensus view of $122.53 billion, and narrowed its full-year EPS outlook to between $5.35 and $5.50 a share, bracketing the Street’s view.