UnitedHealth Earnings Good, but Not Exciting

health careUnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results before markets opened this morning. The health insurance and benefits management firm reported diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $1.20 on revenues of $28.8 billion. In the same period a year ago, UnitedHealth reported EPS of $1.17 on net income of $25.9 billion. Today's results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.20 on revenues of $28.24 billion.

For the full year, UnitedHealth reported EPS of $5.28 on revenues of $110.6 billion. A year ago the company reported EPS of $4.73 on net income of $102.9 billion. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $5.27 on revenues of $109.94 billion.

The company's CEO said:

In 2012 we continued to gain market share and broadened our revenue and earnings growth sources for the future by continuing to focus on ever-stronger execution on the fundamentals of serving our customers.

For 2013, the company forecasts revenues of $123 billion to $124 billion and EPS of $5.25 to $5.50.

The company grew its Medicare and retirement revenues by 12% year-over-year to $39.3 billion. Employer and individual insurance business grew 3% to $46.6 billion, and the company's total Optum benefits management business grew 4.9% to $29.3 billion. UnitedHealth also purchased a 65% stake in the largest health insurer in Brazil during the year and plans to purchase another 25% in the first half of this year.

Shares are up about 0.6% in premarket trading this morning, at $54.00 in a 52-week range of $49.82 to $60.75. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $66.10 before today's results were announced.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Healthcare Tagged: UNH
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