Market Gave Thumbs Down To UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) Numbers

Posted by Michael Korte October 18, 2013 0 Comment 1414 views

The largest health insurer in the United States, UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) posted a Q3 profit that was on par with analysts’ projections. To a certain extent, this has been attributed to the increase in the number of enrollments in the Medicare program as well as plans for larger employers. There was an increase of less than 1% in income, to $1.57B or $1.53/share in comparison to the $1.56B or $1.50 that it stood at, last year. The EPS of $1.53 met the average analyst expectations while revenue rose by 12% to $30.6B.

Low medical costs

This month, the company reined-in its presence on the online insurance-exchanges that was released by the American Health Law. The growth in Medicare is what sustained it instead. Last year, UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) acquired the largest insurer in Brazil for $4.9B, which boosted growth as well. Like most other companies, UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) too has profited from the downtrend in medical costs in the U.S even as the economy is recovering at a halting pace.

Some hurdles

While UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) is trotting along at a steady pace, Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN) has encountered some speed bumps. By the looks of it, Federal health advisers are not in favor of Vascepa’s expansion. This is the company’s fish-oil type formula that has been designed to lower triglyceride levels. The latter are a kind of fats that exists in the human bloodstream.

The panel has recommended to the government that it will first have to get some additional patient-data before it can go ahead with any kind of expansion. The FDA’s outsider advisory panel voted 9:2 against the broader use of the medication. Though most of the panelists believe that Vascepa reduces fat levels very significantly, it is not yet clear whether this also means that patients will suffer from fewer heart attacks. Thursday’s vote clearly indicates that experts are interested in seeing more solid evidence of the benefits of cholesterol-lowering and fat-reducing drugs.

About Michael Korte

Michael Korte an investigative reporter at GDP Insider and is a breaking news reporter. Michael work includes investigations of misconduct by federal prosecutors and industrial air pollution around the nation's schools. His reporting has been recognized with the Hillman Prize for Newspaper Journalism, the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment, and the Philip Meyer Journalism Award for reporting that incorporates social science methods.

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