UnitedHealth’s Q3 Earnings Rise With Lower Health Claim Costs

Results surpassed Wall Street expectations.

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group this morning reported earnings of $1.6 billion, or $1.63 a share, for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, up 7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Revenues also rose by 7 percent to $32.8 billion.
The news surprised analysts, who had anticipated earnings of $1.53 a share for the quarter. By late morning, UnitedHealth’s stock price was up nearly 5 percent to $85.94 per share.
Reuters notes that a combination of the still battered economy and higher out-of-pocket costs have driven Americans to use fewer healthcare services. That means UnitedHealth has paid out less in claims, a trend that it believes may continue going forward. As such, it slightly revised its earnings expectations for its fourth quarter.