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Unitedhealth Group Third Quarter Results Reflects Continued Broad-Based Growth And Solid Operating Margins Across The Enterprise

  • Third Quarter Revenues Grew 9% Year-Over-Year to $50.3 Billion
  • Net Earnings of $2.51 Per Share Grew 24% Year-Over-Year
  • Adjusted Net Earnings of $2.66 Per Share Grew 23% Year-Over-Year
  • Optum Earnings from Operations Grew 16%, with All Optum Segments Generating Double-Digit Percentage Earnings Growth
  • UnitedHealthcare Earnings from Operations Grew 13% Year-Over-Year
  • Cash Flows from Operations were $7.5 Billion in the Quarter

“In 2017 we have been fortunate to serve the health care 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, chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group.

Based on performance to date, the Company now expects 2017 GAAP net earnings to approach $9.45 per share and adjusted net earnings to approach $10.00 per share.

  • UnitedHealth Group’s third quarter 2017 revenues of $50.3 billion grew 8.7 percent or $4 billion year-over-year. UnitedHealthcare’s ACA Individual market withdrawals, combined with the ACA health insurance tax deferral, reduced consolidated revenues by approximately $1.6 billion year-over-year, lowering the consolidated revenue growth rate by 4 percentage points. These factors affect comparability of 2017 results with prior periods throughout the financial statements.
  • Third quarter 2017 earnings from operations grew 14.2 percent year-over-year to $4.1 billion. Net earnings per share grew 24 percent to $2.51 per share from $2.03 per share and adjusted net earnings grew 23 percent to $2.66 per share from $2.17 per share in the third quarter of 2016.
  • Cash flows from operations of $7.5 billion in third quarter 2017 were 2.9 times net earnings.
  • The third quarter 2017 consolidated medical care ratio of 81.4 percent increased 110 basis points year-over-year, as a 140 basis point increase from the health insurance tax deferral was partially offset by higher levels of favorable reserve development. Medical reserves developed favorably by $310 million in third quarter 2017, compared to $120 million in development in third quarter 2016.
  • The third quarter 2017 operating cost ratio of 14.7 percent declined 50 basis points year-over-year, as business mix partially offset a 90 basis point decrease from the health insurance tax deferral.
  • The third quarter 2017 income tax rate declined to 32.5 percent, primarily due to the 2017 moratorium on the nondeductible health insurance tax.
  • Third quarter 2017 days claims payable of 51 days increased one day sequentially and decreased one day year-over-year. Third quarter days sales outstanding increased one day year-over-year to 16 days and improved sequentially by three days, driven by third quarter cash collections.
  • Annualized return on shareholders’ equity increased 120 basis points year-over-year to 22.5 percent in the third quarter, while the debt to total capital ratio decreased to 38.2 percent at September 30, 2017.
  • Dividends paid to shareholders in the third quarter grew 22 percent year-over-year to $726 million, reflecting the 20 percent increase in the annual dividend payment rate to $3.00 per share in June 2017. At September 30, 2017, the Company had repurchased 7.1 million shares year-to-date for $1.17 billion, including 660,000 shares in the third quarter.

UnitedHealthcare provides global health care benefits, serving individuals and employers, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and the nation’s military, retirees and their families.

  • UnitedHealthcare’s third quarter 2017 revenues of $40.7 billion grew $3.6 billion or 9.6 percent year-over-year, as UnitedHealthcare grew to serve 1.9 million more people across its employer-sponsored, Medicare, Medicaid and international medical benefit offerings. Third quarter 2017 earnings from operations for UnitedHealthcare of $2.4 billion increased $278 million or 13.2 percent from 2016, driven by strong, diversified revenue growth and improved operating margins.
    • UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual third quarter 2017 revenues of $13.1 billion decreased $197 million year-over-year due to the effects of previously disclosed ACA Individual market withdrawals and health insurance tax deferral. These factors offset revenue increases from strong year-over-year growth of 540,000 people in commercial risk-based group benefit offerings and rate increases commensurate with medical cost trends. In the third quarter, commercial risk-based group business grew by 40,000 people, while fee-based programs decreased by 500,000 people due to non-renewal of one public sector customer.
    • UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement grew revenues by $2.4 billion or 17.1 percent year-over-year to $16.3 billion in third quarter 2017. UnitedHealthcare served 8.8 million seniors with medical benefit products at quarter end, growth of 960,000 people or 12.2 percent year-over-year. In the third quarter of 2017, the business served 105,000 more seniors, with growth balanced between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement products.
    • In the third quarter of 2017, UnitedHealthcare Community & State revenues of $9.4 billion grew $1.1 billion or 12.8 percent year-over-year, reflecting strong membership growth and service to an increasing mix of individuals with greater health care needs. Community & State served 585,000 more people year-over-year, an increase of 10.1 percent, with stable sequential membership in the third quarter.

Optum is a health services business serving the global health care marketplace, including payers, care providers, employers, governments, life sciences companies and consumers. Using information, technology and clinical insights, Optum’s people help improve overall health system performance: optimizing care quality, reducing health care costs and improving the consumer experience and health system performance.

Optum third quarter 2017 revenues of $22.9 billion grew year-over-year by $1.8 billion or 8.4 percent, and operating margins improved 50 basis points year-over-year to 7.4 percent. Third quarter earnings from operations grew $230 million or 15.7 percent year-over-year to $1.7 billion, with double-digit percentage improvements for all reporting segments led by a 27 percent advance at OptumHealth.

  • OptumHealth third quarter revenues of $5.3 billion grew $920 million or 21.2 percent year-over-year, driven by growth and market expansion in care delivery, as well as growth in consumer health engagement products and services, behavioral health services and health financial services. Across its diverse offerings OptumHealth served approximately 90 million consumers, or 9 million more individuals over the past year. Average revenue per consumer increased 9.1 percent year-over-year, driven by the growth in care delivery.
  • OptumInsight revenues grew 9.8 percent year-over-year to $2 billion in third quarter 2017, driven by growth in business process management services and data analytics. OptumInsight contract backlog grew by one-half billion dollars in the third quarter to $13.9 billion.
  • OptumRx third quarter 2017 revenues grew 4.7 percent year-over-year to $16.0 billion. OptumRx fulfilled more than 320 million adjusted scripts in third quarter 2017, an increase of 12 million scripts or nearly 4 percent over the prior year.



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