Health insurance giant
earned more than Wall Street expected in the second quarter and increased its forecast for the whole year.
The company revealed adjusted net earnings per share of $ 3.60, 15 cents better than Wall Street consensus of $ 3.45, calculated by FactSet. Revenue was $ 60.6 billion, slightly better than Wall Street consensus at $ 60.5 billion.
Stocks were flat in premar trade, up by only 0.1%. Analysts noted that the company's earnings received a significant increase from an unexpected increase in investment revenue.
"Solid quarter, although most of the beat was from non-operational records," wrote BMO Equity Research Analyst Matt Borsch in a note out Thursday morning.
Group shares increase by 7% this year, despite diving in spring in response to suggestions from some democratic presidential candidates to do away with private health insurance. The shares have been restored since then and are up 14% since the beginning of May.
The company said revenue in the second quarter was 8% higher this year than last, attributing to the increase in revenue growth of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement division and OptumRx and OptumHealth pharmacy manager and healthcare operations.
"Our quarterly performance reflects the strong and balanced performance of both Optum and UnitedHealthcare, and is run by 320,000 women and men in the UnitedHealth Group," the company's CEO David S. Wichmann said in a statement.
United Health Group increased its forecast for adjusted net earnings for the entire 2019 to $ 14.70 to $ 14.90 per share, from $ 14.50 to $ 14.75. The consensus forecast among analysts tracked by FactSet is for earnings of $ 14.70 per share.
Overall, analysts seemed pleased with the report.
"With cautious feelings, these results should be satisfactory," wrote Jefferies analyst David Windley .
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Steven Halper also struck positive attention. "UNH continues to pursue its strategy as it benefits from a nicely diversified health insurance business and strong growth in its subsidiaries that are not Optum's insurance companies," he wrote.
The corporate management planned to discuss the results with analysts on a conference call scheduled for 8:45 ET ET on Thursday.
Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at firstname.lastname@example.org