UnitedHealth Group, U.S. Bancorp Report Strong Financials

Both quarterly and fiscal year numbers look good for two of Minnesota’s largest corporations.

UnitedHealth Group and U.S. Bancorp, two of Minnesota’s largest public companies, ended their fiscal years strong and with positive outlooks going forward.
 
Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest insurer saw net earnings of $1.51 billion for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014 ending Dec. 31 or about $1.55 per share. That beat estimates by 5 cents, according to Zacks Investment Research.
 
Revenue from its Optum, its IT and technology-enabled health services division, was particularly strong, rising 25 percent over the same period last year to nearly $48 billion.
 
For the year, revenues totaled $130.5 billion and earnings per share of $5.50. UnitedHealth said it expected even more growth for fiscal 2015, with revenues of at least $140.5 billion and earnings per share in the range of $6.00 to $6.25 per share.
 
“We enter 2015 with a positive outlook and rising business momentum,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley said in a statement.
 
Meanwhile, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp reported strong results, saying its fourth quarter profits rose 2.2 percent from the same time last year.
 
Growth in loans, including commercial, mortgages and credit cards, help boost the bank’s numbers. A decline in uncollectable debt also contributed.
 
Profits hit nearly $1.49 billion for the quarter ending Dec. 31, and rose 0.3 percent for the fiscal year, reaching $5.85 billion. Earnings per share were 79 cents for the quarter and $3.08 for the year.
 
“In 2014, we demonstrated our ability to create value for our shareholders and customers,” U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis said in a statement. “We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our global team.”
 
U.S. Bancorp recently promoted Andrew Cecere to chief operating officer, the first in that position since current CEO Davis held it. The Star Tribune says it’s a sign that Cecere is next in line for the chief executive position.