UnitedHealth beat first-quarter forecasts and hiked its 2023 guidance for the first time, propelled in part by more growth from its Optum care segment.
The health care giant said Friday that revenue jumped 25% from its Optum segment, which provides care and manages prescription drug benefits. Operating earnings from that part of the business also grew 19% to $3.7 billion.
The Optum business runs a growing number of clinics and urgent care and surgery centers.
Overall, UnitedHealth’s profit climbed more than 11% to $5.61 billion, as the company’s UnitedHealthcare insurance business also added more than 2 million customers compared to last year.
Outside Optum, UnitedHealth also runs one of the nation’s largest health insurers, covering more than 50 million people mostly in the United States. That business added customers in commercial coverage, Medicare Advantage and through Medicaid coverage that it manages for states.
UnitedHealth now expects adjusted earnings this year to range between $24.50 and $25 per share. That compares to a forecast of between $24.40 and $24.90 per share that the company first laid out late last year.
FactSet says analyst forecast earnings of $24.93 per share.
In the first quarter, UnitedHealth Group Inc. posted adjusted earnings of $6.26 per share on $91.93 billion in total revenue.
Analysts expected earnings of $6.16 per share on $89.7 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
Medical costs, the company’s largest expense, climbed 14% to nearly $60 billion.
Shares of Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. rose more than $6 to $532.80 in premarket trading Friday.