Dow component UnitedHealth pops 1% on earnings beat

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UnitedHealth shares jumped 1 percent in premarket trading Tuesday after it reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations, helped by growth in its services business.

Here’s UnitedHealth’s results vs. what Wall Street expected:

  • Earnings: $3.28 per share vs. $3.21 per share, forecast by Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $58.42 billion vs. $58.01 billion, forecast by Refinitiv.

The company said its full-year revenues in 2018 grew 12 percent to $226 billion.

Revenue from Optum, which includes the company’s pharmacy benefits management business, grew 13 percent to $27.56 billion in the fourth quarter, while revenue from its mainstay insurance business grew 11.1 percent to $46.23 billion.

UnitedHealth expects full-year earnings in 2019 in the range of $14.40 to $14.70 per share.

There were “no red flags” in the report, said Ana Gupte, senior health-care services analyst Leerink Partners, on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest health insurer, was one of a handful of Dow components trading higher ahead of earnings.

Analysts were watching for any news on the company’s acquisition strategy, which has been focused primarily on extending its Optum division’s services portfolio.

Wall Street was also expecting an update on the timing of the insurer’s acquisition of DaVita Medical Group, a leading independent medical group and a subsidiary of DaVita. The deal was first announced in December 2017.

Bertha Coombs
and Reuters contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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