UnitedHealth Group Increases Full Year Earnings Outlook; Q3 Profit Beats Estimates

While reporting strong third-quarter results on Thursday, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) increased its full year net earnings outlook. The company's full year 2021 outlook for net unfavorable COVID-19 earnings effects is consistent with previous expectations.

For full year, the company now expects net earnings in a range of $17.70 to $17.95 per share and adjusted earnings in a range of $18.65 to $18.90 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report profit per share of $18.75. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Third quarter adjusted earnings per share increased to $4.52 from $3.51, a year ago. On average, 23 analysts expected the company to report profit per share of $4.41, for the quarter. Net earnings attributable to shareholders was $4.1 billion or $4.28 per share compared to $3.2 billion or $3.30 per share, last year.

Third quarter revenues were $72.3 billion, up 11.1% year-over-year, reflecting balanced, double-digit growth at both Optum and UnitedHealthcare, the company said. Analysts expected revenue of $71.19 billion, for the quarter.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group were up 1% in pre-market trade on Thursday.

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