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Business News/ Markets / Stock Markets/  UnitedHealth shares soar over 5% after upbeat Q1 earnings
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UnitedHealth shares soar over 5% after upbeat Q1 earnings

At 1 pm EDT, the UnitedHealth stock was trading at $470.30, 5.54 per cent higher

UnitedHealth Group provides health insurance for more than 49 million people in the United States. (REUTERS)Premium
UnitedHealth Group provides health insurance for more than 49 million people in the United States. (REUTERS)

UnitedHealth Group Inc. shares soared more than 5 per cent in morning trade on Tuesday after it reported better than expected earnings for the first quarter (Q1).

At 1 pm EDT, the UnitedHealth stock was trading at $470.30, 5.54 per cent higher.

The healthcare conglomerate beat estimates for first quarter earnings as medical costs fell from higher rates hit late last year.

UnitedHealth reported 8 per cent rise in total revenue at $99.8 billion.

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Adjusted earnings, excluding the cost from the sale of the Brazilian business and some expenses tied to the cyberattack, totaled $6.91 per share. Total costs tied to the cyberattack and recovery amounted to 74 cents per share in the first quarter.

The health insurer also said that it expects the February cyberattack on Change Healthcare unit to cost the company up to $1.6 billion this year.

The cyberattack on Change, a provider of healthcare billing and data systems, disrupted payments to doctors and healthcare facilities nationwide for a month. 

UnitedHealth “continues to make significant progress in restoring the affected Change Healthcare services while providing financial support to impacted health care providers," the company said in the statement. 

“We’ve made substantial progress and we will not rest until care providers’ connectivity needs are met," UnitedHealth chief executive Andrew Witty said.

UnitedHealth reported a rise in medical care ratio to 84.3 per cent in Q1 from 82.2 per cent a year earlier.

The company also reaffirmed the earnings forecast for 2024 it first laid out last fall for adjusted earnings of $27.50 to $28 per share.

UnitedHealth also said that it booked a roughly $7 billion charge in the first quarter for selling a Brazilian health benefits and care provider Amil it acquired more than a decade ago.

The Minnetonka, Minnesota, company provides health insurance for more than 49 million people in the United States.

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Published: 16 Apr 2024, 10:41 PM IST
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