The stock of U.S. insurer UnitedHealth Group could rise 40 percent over the next two years as Obamacare is fully rolled out, business weekly Barron's said in its July 8 edition.
The company looks better positioned for the revamping of the U.S. healthcare system than competitors Aetna and Cigna because of its combination of high-growth businesses and increasing profit margins, Barron's said. By 2015, its Optum line of health-plan businesses will make up 29 percent of the company's operating earnings, up from 16 percent last year, according to Chris Rigg, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group.
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"Its Optum business will help drive down costs for its health plans, giving it a competitive edge," Barron's wrote.
UnitedHealth Group is set to report second-quarter earnings on July 18.
The price of UnitedHealth Group's stock is up 22 percent for the year to date. The stock hit a 52-week intraday high of $66.36 on July 1, according to Thomson Reuters data. On Friday, the stock closed at $66.17.
(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Jan Paschal)