UnitedHealth Group posts $5B in Q3 profit, boosted by double-digit growth rates at Optum

The outside of UnitedHealth Group's headquarters
UnitedHealth Group has released its third-quarter earnings report. (UnitedHealth Group)

UnitedHealth Group handily beat the Street's third-quarter projections, posting $5 billion in profit for the quarter driven in part by the continued strong performance of its Optum subsidiary.

UnitedHealth reported $60.4 billion in revenues for the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 7%, or $3.8 billion. The healthcare giant posted a 5.9% margin for the quarter.

Year-over-year earnings were up from $4.6 billion in the third quarter of 2018, UnitedHealth said.

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“Optum and UnitedHealthcare are driving value for our customers, creating momentum to finish the year strongly and move into 2020 with an intense focus on accelerating the growth of our businesses by advancing quality, affordability and satisfaction for those we serve,” said David Wichmann, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, in the earnings release.

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Optum posted double-digit growth in both revenue and earnings for the quarter, UnitedHealth announced. The company, which offers a diverse array of services including pharmacy benefit management and provider services, saw its revenue increase by 13% year over year to $28.8 billion and earnings increase by 16% year over year to $2.4 billion. That's a margin of 8%, UnitedHealth Group said.

OptumHealth, which houses the company's provider services, saw a 34% increase in revenue for the quarter.

UnitedHealthcare has added an additional 415,000 members so far this year, according to the release. UnitedHealth's insurance arm posted $48.1 billion in revenue and earnings of $2.7 billion for the quarter.

Revenue from UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans was up by 10% in the quarter, growing by $1.2 billion, by far the largest increase among the insurer's business lines.

Based on its performance in the quarter, where it beat Wall Street estimates in both earnings and revenue, UnitedHealth raised its guidance for the year from $14.15 to $14.25 in earnings per share to $14.90 to $15 in earnings per share.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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