UnitedHealth Group raised its outlook for the rest of this year amid a strong financial performance of its businesses aided by its Optum healthcare services.
UnitedHealth, which operates commercial and government lines of health insurance, said revenues rose 11% to $72 billion in the second quarter, which were ahead of analysts expectations. “This growth was led by Optum Health – primarily our care businesses,” UnitedHealth chief financial officer John Rex told analysts during the company’s second quarter earnings call Thursday morning.
Already, the nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth has become a massive provider of medical care, which is contributing more to the company’s bottom line, executives said Thursday. UnitedHealth’s net earnings grew 29% to nearly $4.1 billion or $4.52 per share compared to nearly $3.2 billion, or $3.30 per share in the year ago quarter.
UnitedHealth’s status as the nation’s largest health insurer and as a massive provider of medical care. UnitedHealth’s Optum unit has built up a menu of healthcare services from surgical care to treatment in a doctor’s office and urgent care centers.
“In the third quarter, the Optum platform comprised 54% of enterprise operating earnings and continues to show strong growth momentum,” Rex said of the $5.7 billion in earnings from operations in the quarter.
UnitedHealth said its diverse portfolio of businesses is helping the company through the Covid-19 pandemic even through spikes in cases of infection.
“During the third quarter, while direct COVID care and testing costs ran above the expectations we had nearly a year ago, we again saw elective care offsetting the impacts of higher case rates, much like previous cycles in the pandemic,” Rex said. “This quarter there were approximately 60,000 COVID hospitalizations with August peaking at nearly 30,000. COVID hospitalizations increased threefold from the second quarter and were double what we experienced in the year ago third quarter.”