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Insurer UnitedHealth's 4Q earnings, 2018 guidance soar

UnitedHealth recorded a $1.2 billion favorable change to its U.S. net deferred tax liability, which cut its full-year and fourth-quarter corporate tax rates and helped the company's net profit margin.

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 6:19 AM

(AP) - UnitedHealth Group's earnings more than doubled in the final quarter of 2017, and the nation's largest insurer hiked its forecast well beyond expectations due partially to a gain from the federal tax overhaul.

UnitedHealth now expects adjusted earnings of $12.30 to $12.60 per share in 2018, up from an initial forecast for $10.55 to $10.85, and far better than the $11.44 that Wall Street was projecting, according to a survey by FactSet.

Shares jumped almost 3 percent before the opening bell Tuesday.

UnitedHealth recorded a $1.2 billion favorable change to its U.S. net deferred tax liability, which cut its full-year and fourth-quarter corporate tax rates and helped the company's net profit margin.

Fourth-quarter earnings climbed to $3.62 billion, as total revenue rose over 9 percent to $52.06 billion. Adjusted earnings came in at $2.59 per share, excluding the tax overhaul gain. That topped Wall Street expectations.

Analysts forecast earnings of $2.51 per share on $51.54 billion in revenue for the Minnetonka, Minnesota, company, which is the first big insurer to report results every quarter.

Health insurance is still the biggest revenue generator for UnitedHealth Group Inc., but it now pulls in most of its operating earnings from its Optum segment, which provides pharmacy benefits management and technology services and also operates clinics and doctor's offices. Optum operating earnings jumped 22 percent to $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, UnitedHealth earned $10.56 billion on more than $200 billion in revenue. It expects revenue in 2018 to range between $223 billion and $225 billion.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 289303

Reported Deaths: 3434
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin616511100
Ramsey25903487
Anoka20522218
Dakota20096183
Washington13066109
Stearns1291098
St. Louis7935101
Scott782754
Wright702436
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Sherburne538640
Clay463856
Carver432213
Blue Earth387112
Rice386033
Kandiyohi373819
Crow Wing334631
Nobles298729
Chisago29358
Otter Tail282818
Benton278642
Winona258128
Mower241323
Douglas237631
Polk234423
Morrison219524
Lyon201911
McLeod195610
Beltrami194615
Becker187512
Goodhue185727
Steele17826
Itasca176124
Isanti174316
Todd171612
Carlton165710
Nicollet150823
Freeborn14465
Mille Lacs141630
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Waseca134011
Cass12849
Brown125011
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Renville75119
Sibley7414
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Rock6829
Pipestone67818
Houston6422
Fillmore6320
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Faribault5081
Pope4990
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Jackson4361
Unassigned38759
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Traverse1360
Lake of the Woods931
Cook600

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 220032

Reported Deaths: 2282
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk32695327
Linn13801164
Scott1068881
Black Hawk10631132
Woodbury10061120
Johnson932336
Dubuque904191
Story666620
Dallas619957
Pottawattamie602967
Sioux362025
Webster348432
Marshall342044
Cerro Gordo340644
Clinton315939
Buena Vista297914
Des Moines278218
Muscatine278268
Warren270510
Plymouth265639
Wapello248671
Jones226913
Jasper210942
Marion200019
Lee195416
Carroll194621
Bremer188712
Henry17917
Crawford172015
Benton165116
Tama151540
Jackson140712
Delaware139621
Washington136914
Boone132911
Dickinson132710
Mahaska124127
Wright11986
Buchanan114110
Clay11184
Hardin111310
Page11074
Clayton10665
Hamilton10657
Harrison104328
Cedar103913
Calhoun10387
Fayette10149
Floyd100914
Mills10097
Kossuth10076
Lyon9988
Poweshiek97113
Butler9566
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Louisa83616
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