UnitedHealth’s 1Q profit climbs 13 percent

MINNETONKA, Minn. (AP) — UnitedHealth Group says its first-quarter net income rose 13 percent, led by revenue gains in commercial health insurance. The managed care company also raised its full-year earnings forecast.

The Minnetonka, Minn., insurer says it earned $1.34 billion, or $1.22 per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That’s up from the $1.19 billion, or $1.03 per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose 10 percent to $25.43 billion.

Analysts expected 89 cents per share on $24.97 billion in revenue.

UnitedHealth is the largest health insurer based on revenue and the first to report quarterly earnings.

The company now expects 2011 earnings per share to range between $3.95 and $4.05. That’s up from $3.50 to $3.70. Analysts have said the old outlook was conservative.

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