estimates: Analysts expect UnitedHealth earnings per share to rise 24 percent to $ 3.22, while revenue rose 11 percent to $ 57.9 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Results: Earnings from UnitedHealth reached $ 3.28 per share, up 27% from a year ago. Revenues increased 12% to $ 58.4 billion. Medical costs were higher than expected in some Medicaid programs, but UnitedHealth said it should be a "short-term problem."
Perspective: UnitedHealth confirmed the 2019 guidance for Adjusted EPS of $ 14.40 to $ 14.70. Prior to the fourth quarter results of UnitedHealth, analysts expected EPS of $ 14.62 for the coming year.
Shares of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index rose 1.6% to 241.94 at stock market aujourd & # 39; hui.
After posting a strong performance among the best-performing group in the market, the UnitedHealth stock peaked in early December, falling close to 20%. In the beginning, UnitedHealth shares had not rallied as much as the general stock market, but they have recently picked up speed by holding seven consecutive positive sessions ahead of Tuesday's report.
Meanwhile, the Group of the medical care industry fell from the top tier. It has been rated n ° 15 out of 197 industry groups based on price and momentum performance when UnitedHealth announced its results in October, but these fell to 67%.
UnitedHealth's successful model of combining care management with prescription benefit management and a growing health care empire has led to more and more competitors, with CVS Health (CVS) closing its purchase of Aetna and Cigna (THIS) buy Express scripts.
The UnitedHealth model
While the entrance to Amazon.com (AMZN), analysts believe that the success of UnitedHealth is the main reason.
After the previous mergers of Anthem (ANTM) with Cigna and Aetna with Humana (HUM) have been blocked by courts for antitrust reasons, the industry has decided to follow the UnitedHealth initiative by gaining importance by expanding its activities by providing health services. one year earlier.
On Monday, Stephens initiated a hedge on UnitedHealth with an overweight rating and a price target of 287. Analyst Scott Fidel spoke of his strong growth prospects, although he has already reached an "unprecedented size and magnitude" ". He highlighted Medicare Advantage, OptumCare's "overextended growth ambitions" and its expansion into global markets as the top three drivers.
UnitedHealthcare, the company's healthcare management division, has seen growth driven by the expansion of its Medicare Advantage program. In the fourth quarter, the number of Medicare Advantage clients increased by 515,000 compared to a year ago.
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