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UnitedHealth soars on earnings

MarketWatch, April 22, 2011

UnitedHealth rose 8% to $47.81 by the close, a gain of $3.57. The company said net income jumped to $1.35 billion, or $1.22 a share, compared with $1.19 billion, or $1.03 a share, for the same period a year ago. Sales for the Minneapolis-based managed-care firm were $25.4 billion against last year's $23.2 billion. The nation's largest health insurer beat estimates by 33 cents a share, as analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected UnitedHealth to report earnings of 89 cents a share. That also prompted UnitedHealth to offer a 2011 full-year earnings forecast of $3.95 to $4.05 a share, compared with a $3.80 estimate from analysts.