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Profit rises 13% for UnitedHealth Group

The New York Times/Reuters, July 20, 2011

The UnitedHealth Group posted a higher-than-expected profit for its second quarter on Tuesday, helped by broad increases in enrollment, and the insurer raised its full-year earnings forecast. The company, which is the country's largest health insurer by market value, also cited moderated use of healthcare services by its members for helping lower its medical claim costs. The industry has benefited from Americans avoiding procedures and doctor visits during the weak economy. But UnitedHealth's higher forecast was only in line with Wall Street's target, and its shares fell 2.7% after the announcement. Its net income rose 13% to $1.27 billion, or $1.16 a share, compared with $1.12 billion, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected 94 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.