UnitedHealth beats on earnings, posts massive income jump again

UnitedHealth Group’s net income jumped 16% in the fourth quarter as the nation’s biggest health insurer ended 2019 by topping Wall Street’s earnings expectations again.

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But the Minnetonka, Minnesota, company missed forecasts for revenue, but on Wednesday reaffirmed profit expectations for 2020, first laid out last month, for adjusted earnings of between $16.25 and $16.55 per share.

Analysts expect per-share profits of $16.46 this year, according to FactSet.

UnitedHealth earned $3.54 billion in the quarter, with adjusted results totaling $3.90 per share. Analysts expected $3.78 per share, according to FactSet.

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Revenue climbed 4 percent to $60.9 billion, shy of the $60.96 billion analysts expected.

UnitedHealth's Optum segment runs a large pharmacy benefit management business and a growing number of clinics and urgent care and surgery centers.