Health insurer UnitedHealth's 2nd-quarter profit slips 2 percent as taxes, other expenses rise

UnitedHealth Group says its second-quarter earnings slipped 2 percent on a rise in taxes and other expenses, but the nation's largest health insurer still trumped analyst expectations.

The Minnetonka, Minnesota, company also raised the low end of the earnings range it forecasts for this year.

UnitedHealth says it earned $1.41 billion, or $1.42 per share, in the three months that ended June 30. That's down from $1.44 billion, or $1.40 per share, in the 2013 quarter. Revenue rose 7 percent to $32.57 billion.

Analysts expect earnings of $1.26 per share on $31.9 billion in revenue.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. is the first insurer to report earnings every quarter. Many see it as a bellwether for other insurers.