April 19, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 1:58 pm

UnitedHealth's 1Q profit climbs 3 percent

UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s first-quarter net income rose 3 percent as enrollment and revenue gains countered an increase in operating costs, and the health insurer raised its 2012 earnings forecast, The Associated Press reports.

The Minnetonka, Minn., company with major Hartford operations said Thursday it earned $1.39 billion, or $1.31 per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That's up from $1.35 billion, or $1.22 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue grew 7 percent to $27.28 billion.

The performance topped Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast, on average, earnings of $1.16 per share on $27.01 billion in revenue.

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