UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) topped market expectations for revenue and earnings in the third quarter of 2019, allowing the stock to gain 2.6% in premarket hours on Tuesday.
Total revenue grew 7% year-over-year to $60.4 billion, driven by double-digit growth in Optum. Revenues beat estimates of $59.7 billion.
Net earnings attributable to UnitedHealth Group common shareholders was $3.5 billion, or $3.67 per share, compared to $3.1 billion, or $3.24 per share, last year. Adjusted EPS grew nearly 14% year-over-year to $3.88, surpassing forecasts of $3.75.
During the quarter, medical cost trends came in line with expectations. The medical care ratio improved 140 basis points year-over-year to 82.4%, aided by the health insurance tax deferral. Favorable medical reserve development was $140 million. Days claims payable was 49.3 days compared to 50.5 days last year.
In the UnitedHealthcare segment, revenue grew 4.7% year-over-year to $48.1 billion. The number of customers increased driven by growth in commercial and Medicare Advantage membership. Revenues grew in all the divisions except for UnitedHealthcare Community & State, which saw a decrease in revenue due to lower membership.
Optum revenues grew 13.3% to $28.8 billion, helped by revenue growth across all divisions. OptumHealth saw a 30% growth in revenue per customer, helped by improvements in value-based care arrangements and expanded local care delivery offerings.
For the full year of 2019, the company raised its outlook and now expects GAAP EPS of $14.15-14.25 and adjusted EPS of $14.90-15.00. This compares to the prior outlook of GAAP EPS of $13.95-14.15 and adjusted EPS of $14.70-14.90.
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