UnitedHealth Group says its third-quarter earnings jumped 23 percent, thanks in part to growth in Medicare and Medicaid business for the nation's largest health insurer.
The Minnetonka, Minn., company also raised its 2012 earnings forecast. It now expects earnings of $5.20 to $5.25 per share, up from a previous forecast for $4.90 to $5 per share. Analysts expect $5.13 per share.
UnitedHealth says it earned $1.56 billion, or $1.50 per share, in the three months that ended Sept. 30. That compares to $1.27 billion, or $1.17 per share, in last year's third quarter. Revenue rose 8 percent to $27.3 billion.
Analysts forecast earnings of $1.34 per share on $27.58 billion in revenue.
UnitedHealth is the first major insurer to report earnings every quarter. Many see it as a sector bellwether.
(c) 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.