UnitedHealth (UNH) Q1 Earnings Beat On Higher Revenues

Have you been eager to see how UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH – Free Report) performed in Q1 in comparison with the market expectations? Let’s quickly scan through the key facts from this Minnetonka-based major health insurer’s earnings release this morning:

An Earnings Beat

UnitedHealth came out with earnings of $3.04 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.92. Earnings also rose 28.3% year over year.

Improved revenues and higher enrollment primarily drove earnings beat.

Earnings Surprise History

UnitedHealth has an impressive earnings surprise history. Before posting the earnings beat in Q1, the company delivered positive surprises in all prior four quarters.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Price and EPS Surprise

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Price and EPS Surprise | UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Quote

Revenue Higher Than Expected

UnitedHealth recorded revenues of $55.2 billion, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $54.9 billion. Also, it compared favorably with the year-ago number of $48.7 billion.

Key Stats for Q1

•  Total operating cost of $51.1 billion increased 12.9% year over year.
•  Net margin expanded 60 basis points to 5.1%.

•  The company served 53.6 million people, up from 51.4 million people in the year ago quarter.
•  Spent $2.65 billion in share buybacks and paid $722 million in dividends.
•  Adjusted cash flows from operations of $3.2 billion.

Guidance Update

UnitedHealth revised its 2018 financial outlook given solid first quarter results. It now expects 2018 net earnings of $11.70 to $11.95 from $11.65 to $11.95 per share expected earlier. Adjusted net earnings have been raised to $12.40 to $12.65 from $12.30 to $12.60 per share guided earlier. Cash flows from operations are expected to range from $15 billion to $15.5 billion.

What Zacks Rank Says

UnitedHealth carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, since the latest earnings performance is yet to be reflected in the estimate revisions, the rank is subject to change. While things apparently look favorable, it all depends on what sense the just-released report makes to the analysts.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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