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UnitedHealth predicts lower profit for 2011

UnitedHealth Group walked a fine line before Wall Street investors Tuesday, predicting lower profit in 2011, in part due to federal health reform, while at the same time painting itself as well-positioned for the changes reform will bring.

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth, the country's biggest health insurer by revenue, projected higher revenue but lower profit next year. The company expects revenue of between $99 billion and $100 billion next year, translating to net earnings per share of $3.50 to $3.70.

The company affirmed its 2010 outlook of $3.85 to $3.95 per share.

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