Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

MarketScreener Homepage  >  News  >  Economy & Forex

News : Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

UnitedHealth bets on government health plan growth in 2020

01/15/2020 | 07:48pm EST
FILE PHOTO: Picture illustration of a UnitedHealth Group health insurance card in a wallet

UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest U.S. health insurer, reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, and said it expects strong sales of its government health plans this year.

The company also reported solid sales growth in its pharmacy benefits business.

UnitedHealth expects to enroll 700,000 more people in its Medicare Advantage plans in 2020, Chief Executive Officer David Wichmann said on a call to discuss the quarterly results. That was at the upper end of the Medicare Advantage forecast the company provided at its investor conference in December.

The plans provide health benefits to older Americans and the disabled.

Shares of UnitedHealth, the first major U.S. insurer to report earnings this season, were up more than 2% at $294.65, lifting shares of rivals Anthem Inc, Humana Inc and Cigna Corp by about 1%.

Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel said the stock was likely reacting to the solid Medicare Advantage enrollment forecast.

Newshel also cited the industry bellwether's comments regarding limited cost impact from the current flu season, which picked up pace in the last few weeks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wednesday's share rise comes on the back of gains in insurer shares over the last two months as fears eased that the 2020 presidential election would lead to a major overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system.

UnitedHealth affirmed its full-year forecast for 2020 adjusted earnings of $16.25 to $16.55 per share, with a midpoint a bit below analysts' average estimates of $16.46, according to Refinitiv data.

Total revenue rose 4.3% to $60.90 billion, just shy of Wall Street expectations of $61.04 billion.

Sales of the company's core business selling health insurance plans rose 4.4% to $48.25 billion.

Revenue from the Optum unit, which manages drug benefits and offers healthcare data analytics services, rose about 8% to $29.8 billion.

UnitedHealth has bolstered its Optum business with a string of small acquisitions, the latest a $300 million purchase of Diplomat Pharmacy.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $3.90 per share, exceeding analyst estimates of $3.78.

By Manojna Maddipatla


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMP LIMITED -3.12% 1.71 End-of-day quote.-10.70%
AT HOME GROUP INC. -7.05% 17.28 Delayed Quote.214.18%
CIGNA CORPORATION 0.65% 213.39 Delayed Quote.4.35%
EVERCORE INC. 2.25% 95.09 Delayed Quote.27.19%
HUMANA INC. -0.47% 403.83 Delayed Quote.10.70%
JUST GROUP PLC 2.93% 57.9 Delayed Quote.-28.80%
LINE CORPORATION -0.19% 5370 End-of-day quote.0.37%
RISE, INC. 0.00% 24 End-of-day quote.-20.00%
THE LEAD CO., INC. 2.91% 1275 End-of-day quote.226.92%
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP 0.32% 348.68 Delayed Quote.18.23%
WILL GROUP, INC. 0.40% 994 End-of-day quote.-20.61%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
05:39pWORLD BANK : Announces $14 Million Bond Payment for Methane and Nitrous Oxide Reduction
PU
05:30pBritain to target at least 68% cut in emissions by 2030 from 1990 levels - government
RE
05:27pSuarez set for Atletico return after negative COVID-19 test
RE
05:23pS&C ELECTRIC : Decarbonization Grows as a Goal, But Can Our Grid Infrastructure Support It?
PU
05:23pUtilities Down As Investors Rotate Into Other Sectors -- Utilities Roundup
DJ
05:22pCommunications Services Down Amid HBO Max Distribution Plan - Communications Services Roundup
DJ
05:20pTech Slips As Investors Rotate Into Other Sectors -- Tech Roundup
DJ
05:18pFinancials Up, But Gains Moderate After Pfizer Warning -- Financials Roundup
DJ
05:17pConsumer Cos Tick Higher On Vaccine Optimism -- Consumer Roundup
DJ
05:16pVitol pays $164 million to resolve U.S. allegations of oil bribes in Latin America
RE
Latest news "Economy & Forex"