on Monday affirmed the fourth-quarter profit forecast it made last month and promised to "discuss" its 2005 expectation at an investor meeting later today.
The managed-care provider expects to earn at least $1.07 a share in the fourth quarter, reflecting the full-year estimate of $3.92 a share it made on Oct. 15, when it reported earnings through its first nine months of $2.85 a share. The Thomson First Call fourth-quarter consensus earnings estimate is $1.08 a share.
"Management will also discuss its 2005 financial outlook, which currently includes revenue of approximately $45 billion and earnings per share in a baseline range of $4.70 to $4.75 per share," UnitedHealth said. The company announced that range when it reported its third quarter.
The stock closed at $79.48 Friday, 19 cents below a 52-week high.