UnitedHealth Group (UNH) surpassed market expectations on both revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018. Shares were up 1.5% in premarket hours on Tuesday.
Total revenues were $58.4 billion compared to $52 billion in the same period last year. Net income attributable to common shareholders was $3 billion or $3.10 per share compared to $3.6 billion or $3.65 per share in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EPS was $3.28.
UnitedHealth Group recorded revenue increases in both its UnitedHealthcare and Optum segments on a year-over-year basis. Revenues grew across all business units within both segments during the quarter. In UnitedHealthcare, the highest increase of 15.3% was seen in the Medicare & Retirement unit.
The Optum segment benefited from various factors including growth in care delivery and behavioural health services as well as increased script volumes. Within this segment, OptumHealth registered the highest increase of 17%.
The company saw an increase in total operating costs during the quarter. Operating costs amounted to $53.9 billion compared to $48 billion in the prior-year period. Medical costs increased 11.4% year-over-year to $36.9 billion.
UnitedHealth Group affirmed its outlook for 2019, including GAAP EPS of $13.70 to $14.00, adjusted EPS of $14.40 to $14.70 and cash flows from operations of $17.3 billion to $17.8 billion.
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