(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc , the largest U.S. health insurer, reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, and said it expects strong sales of its government health plans this year.
The company also reported solid sales growth in its pharmacy benefits business.
UnitedHealth - People - Medicare - Advantage - Chief
UnitedHealth expects to enroll 700,000 more people in its Medicare Advantage plans in 2020, Chief Executive Officer David Wichmann said on a call to discuss the quarterly results. That was at the upper end of the Medicare Advantage forecast the company provided at its investor conference in December.
The plans provide health benefits to older Americans and the disabled.
Shares - UnitedHealth - US - Insurer - Earnings
Shares of UnitedHealth, the first major U.S. insurer to report earnings this season, were up more than 2% at $294.65, lifting shares of rivals Anthem Inc , Humana Inc and Cigna Corp by about 1%.
Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel said the stock was likely reacting to the solid Medicare Advantage enrollment forecast.
Newshel - Industry - Bellwether - Comments - Cost
Newshel also cited the industry bellwether’s comments regarding limited cost impact from the current flu season,...
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