UnitedHealth's surprising 2Q earnings powered by Optum: 4 things to know

Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth released its second quarter results reflecting the insurer's strong earnings, boosted by its health services division Optum.

Here are four things to know about UnitedHealth's second quarter:

1. UnitedHealth Group's second quarter revenue grew 28 percent year-over-year to $46.5 billion, which is $10.2 billion more than the same period last year. Profits grew 13 percent to roughly $3.4 billion, or $1.96 per share. The insurer adjusted its 2016 GAAP net earnings from a range of $7.25 to $7.40 per share to $7.80 to $7.95 per share.

2. UnitedHealth's Optum unit 2Q revenue grew 52 percent year-over-year from $13.6 billion in 2015 to $20.6 billion this year. Optum operations earnings increased 46 percent from $864 million in 2015 to $1.3 billion in 2016. The division's operating margin decreased from 6.4 percent in 2015 to 6.1 percent in 2016.

- OptumHealth added 4 million people since last year and saw an 18 percent increase in revenue to $4.1 billion.

- OptumInsight revenues grew 25 percent from last year to $1.8 billion.

- OptumRx revenue grew the most at 69 percent year-over-year to $15.1 billion, influenced by acquisitions and organic growth. Prescription fulfillments increased by 60 percent to 250 million in 2016.

3. UnitedHealthcare's quarterly revenue grew 14 percent year-over-year, from $33.1 billion in 2015 to $37.6 billion. Operating earnings decreased 4 percent from $2 billion in 2015 to $1.9 billion this year. UnitedHealthcare's operating margin decreased from 6.1 percent in 2015 to 5.2 percent this year.

4. UnitedHealth reported $200 million in losses associated with Affordable Care Act exchanges. The losses were fully absorbed by second quarter earnings, according to the report. 

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