UnitedHealth's Beat Wasn't Clean, Says Analysts
UnitedHealth beat analyst expectations, but shares are still falling.

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UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH)  beat analysts earnings per share consensus. The company posted an EPS of $3.14, which beat expectations by 10 cents when the company posted earnings before the market opened Tuesday.

And yet, in morning trading, the company fell 2.5% to around $250 a share.

"In our view, the 'beat' wasn't as 'clean' vs. consensus, and underlying results were not as strong" as those in the first quarter of 2018, stated a JPMorgan note.

The company posted revenue of $56.1 billion, which is up 12% year over year. However, UnitedHealth missed the mark on its consolidated Medical Loss Ratio by 10 basis points, which throws a shadow over the first quarter of 2018, when the company beat MLR estimates by 30 basis points.

"The miss is small, but invites scrutiny, as evidenced by the pressure on the stock pre-market," said Jeffries analysts in a note about UnitedHealth's earnings.    

Wells Fargo analysts say the MLR miss should not worry investors, "The quarter should ease concerns in the sector over cost trend since UNH's MLR was mostly in-line despite very little favorable development."

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