Healthcare Business

Are Investors Too Cautious on UnitedHealth After Earnings?

When UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) released its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday, the firm posted $3.51 in earnings per share (EPS) and $65.1 billion in revenue. Analysts were calling for EPS of $3.09 on $63.96 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, UnitedHealth said it had $3.88 in EPS and revenue of $60.35 billion.

During the latest quarter, the company saw continued growth, led Optum and the UnitedHealthcare public-sector and senior benefits businesses, despite the continued setbacks from COVID-19. Total revenues grew 8%, year over year, reflecting balanced, broad-based revenue growth across Optum and UnitedHealthcare.

UnitedHealthcare revenues increased 4.8% year over year to $50.4 billion. Third-quarter earnings from operations at UnitedHealthcare were $2.1 billion, down from $2.7 billion from the same period last year.

Optum third-quarter revenues and operating earnings of $34.9 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively, increased from $28.8 billion and $2.4 billion a year ago.

The company updated its outlook for the 2020 full year. UnitedHealth now expects to see EPS in the range of $16.50 to $16.75, an increase of a quarter on both ends. Consensus estimates call for $16.58 in EPS and $255.65 billion in revenue for the full year.

On the books, the company ended the quarter with $20.81 billion in cash and cash equivalents, up from $14.25 billion at the end of 2019.

UnitedHealth stock traded down over 2% to $323.54 early Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $187.72 to $333.70. The consensus price target is $352.32.