UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Thursday, and boosted its full-year profit outlook, as medicare & retirement, OptumRx and OptumHealth posted double-digit revenue growth, but shares slipped after the company said it may miss 2019 revenue forecasts .
UnitedHealth said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in June came in at $3.60 per share, up 14.6% from the same period last year and 15 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, UnitedHealth said, rose 8% to $60.6 billion, a figure that fell largely in-line with analysts' forecasts.
Looking into 2019, Dow component UnitedHealth said it sees net earnings of $13.95 to $14.15 per share and adjusted net earnings to $14.70 to $14.90 per share, both modest upgrades to the company's prior forecasts, helped in part by a move last week from the Trump administration to scrap plans to require health insurers to return billions in rebates to patients under the government's Medicare plan.
CFO John Rex, however, told investors on a conference call following the earnings that 2019 revenues would be "at or just slightly below" the forecast range of $243 billion to $245 billion.
UnitedHealth shares fell 2.3% following the earnings release and the Rex comments to close at $260.60 each, a move that trims the stock's year-to-date gain to around 4.6%.
"Our results in the quarter reflect strong and balanced performance from both Optum and UnitedHealthcare and are driven by the 320,000 women and men of UnitedHealth Group who focus every day on creating value for those we serve," said CEO David Wichmann.