October 17, 2017

UnitedHealth's 3Q profits up 26% on strength of drug benefits biz

UnitedHealth Group Inc., which has major operations in Hartford, reported a third quarter profit increase of 26 percent, strengthened by its pharmacy benefit management business.

In the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Minnetonka, Minn., company earned nearly $2.49 billion, or $2.51 per share, compared to $1.97 billion, or $2.03 per share in the year-ago period, the company said.

Combined, revenue for both insurer UnitedHealthCare and Optum, its pharmacy benefits arm, grew to $50.3 billion compared to $46.3 billion in the year-ago period.

"In 2017 we have been fortunate to serve the healthcare needs of more customers and consumers in increasingly diverse ways, and we expect the opportunities to do so will grow even further in 2018, 2019 and beyond," said David S. Wichmann, UnitedHealth Group CEO.

The company projects net earnings by the end of the year will approach $9.45 per share.

UnitedHealth Group served 139 million individuals across all businesses as of the end of the third quarter, the company said.

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