UnitedHealth (UNH) saw a boost in share prices in premarket trading after releasing better-than-expected guidance at an investor conference Tuesday.
The health care and health technology company saw shares hit $157 apiece ahead of market's open Nov. 29, a boost of 3.2% compared to its Monday close price.
UnitedHealth officials said that it expects revenues for 2017 to land somewhere between $197 billion and $199 billion. This breaks down to net earnings for the year of $8.75 to $9.05 per share, or adjusted earnings per share of $9.30 to $9.60 apiece.
Analysts had forecast earnings of $9.14 per share and revenue of $196.6 million for 2017.
Leerink analyst Ana Gupte wrote that UnitedHealth's guidance for 2017 signifies year-over-year growth of approximately 18%, well above estimates of 13-16%. Gupte has an outperform rating on the company and sees it as one of the top two picks in her coverage universe.
Credit Suisse analyst Scott Fidel viewed the stock similarly on improved guidance news.
"Given the better than expected outlook that UnitedHealth is providing for 2017 across all key metrics, we expect continued outperformance in the shares and the stock remains our top pick in our coverage universe," he wrote in a note.
The company has also provided information on its outlook for the health care industry during the Trump presidency and Republican House and Senate.
According to JPMorgan analyst Gary Taylor, the company believes Republicans want to preserve access, but dislike the Medicaid block grants proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
According to analyst David Windley of Jefferies LLC, UnitedHealth executives have signified that Medicaid Expansion has been more successful for the business than the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act thanks to lower cost structure and modernized regulation.
"Thus, we expect UNH to advocate for Medicaid as a vehicle to increase coverage to the 28M Americans who remain uninsured, rather than decreasing it," Windley wrote in a note.
Windley has a buy rating on UnitedHealth, while Taylor has an overweight rating on the company.
UnitedHealth pulled out of the public exchanges earlier in 2016, and has not shared plans to re-enter anytime soon. UnitedHealth disclosed a loss of approximately $200 million from its participation in the exchanges.
UnitedHealth continues to thrive without the sort of dealmaking attempted by other major health care companies. Its four largest competitors -- Cigna (CI) , Anthem (ANTM) , Aetna (AET) and Humana (HUM) are all locked in antitrust disputes with the Department of Justice over their mega mergers.
UnitedHealth is hosting an investor day all day Tuesday, and will likely continue to provide information on its plans for 2017.The company has a market cap of $144.7 billion.