Log in
Show password
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

UnitedHealth expects smaller hit from COVID-19 in 2022

10/14/2021 | 12:14pm EST
FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of the UnitedHealth Group appears on the side of one of their office buildings in Santa Ana, California

(Reuters) -UnitedHealth Group Inc said it expected COVID-19 to have a smaller impact on its profit next year as infections decline and more people get vaccinated, sparking a rally in the shares of U.S. health insurers.

The company, the largest U.S. health insurer, on Thursday also put to rest concerns of an impact from the Delta variant in 2021 by raising its profit outlook.

A surge in infections in July and August caused by the more infectious variant had increased hospital costs, but cases have declined since then.

Chief Financial Officer John Rex said current market estimates were "beginning to calibrate" the company's 2022 outlook. Analysts expect UnitedHealth to post adjusted earnings per share of $21.60, according to Refinitiv data.

"Investors were waiting to get that visibility into the company's framework around 2022 and clearly the company provided a confident initial outlook for next year," Stephens analyst Scott Fidel said.

While not every health insurer has had the same momentum as UnitedHealth, its comments bode well for the rest of the sector, he added.

UnitedHealth shares surged 6%, while rivals Humana Inc, Cigna Corp and Centene Corp were between 2% and 3% higher.

UnitedHealth said it expected 2021 adjusted earnings per share between $18.65 and $18.90, compared with $18.30 to $18.80 previously. It maintained its forecast for a COVID-related hit at $1.80 per share.

The insurer said the profit outlook accounted for a possible surge in high-cost procedures that had been delayed during the Delta surge and were slowly returning to normal levels.

The postponement of the procedures helped it beat earnings expectations for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

The company reiterated its long-term earnings per share growth outlook of 13% to 16%.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Aditya Soni)

By Manojna Maddipatla

ę Reuters 2021
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
09:59aGUIDE : How to talk about NFTs at Christmas dinner
09:55aGlobal shares decline on Omicron uncertainty
09:51aGrocery chain Kroger lifts forecast as home cooking stays hot
09:47aDollar General forecasts tepid full-year profit as costs surge
09:47aGermany Tightens Restrictions Due to Rise in Covid-19 Cases; Restricts Social Contact for Unvaccinated People
09:46aWALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : Boeing lifts Dow at open after Omicron-led selloff
09:41aOil falls as OPEC+ sticks to regular output increase
09:41aOFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA : Statement by the Prime Minister on the United Arab Emirates' Golden Jubilee
09:33aOPEC+ agrees to go ahead with planned January oil output hike
09:31aJewellery maker Pandora has no plans to join platforms like Amazon or Farfetch - CEO
Latest news "Economy & Forex"