UnitedHealth overcomes pandemic hit and tops 4Q expectations

MINNETONKA, Minn. (AP) — UnitedHealth is reporting a fourth-quarter profit of $2.21 billion, easily beating most expectations despite costs affiliated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per-share earnings were $2.30, but if one-time costs and charges are taken into account, earnings from the Minnetonka, Minnesota, company were $2.52 per share.

That’s well above the $2.39 that Wall Street had expected, according to a survey of analysts by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue at the largest U.S. health insurer reached $65.47 billion, also surpassing forecasts.

UnitedHealth affirmed its full-year earnings expectations of between $17.75 and $18.25 per share. That projection includes a per-share hit of about $1.80 due to rising costs from things like testing and treatment for COVID-19, as well as procedures that are being put off due to the pandemic.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. are essentially flat before the opening bell.

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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