UnitedHealth profits rising; Optum revenues up — 5 key points

United Health Group, the largest health insurer in the U.S., released promising numbers for the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Here are five key points from the company's first-quarter earnings statement.

1. United Health's revenue increased by 13 percent to $35.8 billion. Revenue attributable to the company's Optum segment — which includes OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx — grew 15 percent year-over-year to $12.8 billion.

2. UnitedHealth's medical loss ratio — the amount the insurer spent on actual healthcare costs — fell to 81.1 percent, down 1.4 percent from the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

3. The company's net income grew to 1.4 billion, resulting in earnings per share climbing 33 percent year-over-year to $1.46 per share. United Health expects its full-year revenue to be $143 billion, up from its original guidance of $141 billion.

4. UnitedHealth shares have risen 48 percent in the past 12 months, according to Reuters.

5. Generally viewed as a lower cost competitor to other large payers, the healthcare industry keeps close tabs on UnitedHealth. The company has made some major moves in the last year, including plans to combine OptumRx with Schaumburg, Ill.-based Catamaran Corp. as part of a $12.8 billion deal.

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