UnitedHealth ups forecast after strong start to year

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MINNETONKA, Minn. (AP) – UnitedHealth profits jumped about 44% in the first quarter and the nation’s largest health insurer boosted its outlook for the year.

The company said Thursday that the performance of its Optum division was particularly strong.

The Minnetonka, Minnesota, company raised its full year earnings outlook to $17.15 to $17.65 per share, and adjusted earnings to $18.10 to $18.60 per share.

That projection includes a potential downside per-share of $1.80 due to the continuing influence of the pandemic.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. posted quarterly earnings of $4.86 billion, or $5.08. Earnings, adjusted for amortization costs, were $5.31 per share, easily topping Wall Street’s per-share expectations of $4.42, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

The largest U.S. health insurer posted revenue of $70.2 billion, and that too topped projections.

Shares are up slightly before the opening bell Thursday.

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A portion of this story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on UNH at https://www.zacks.com/ap/UNH

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