UnitedHealth ups profit view as lower medical costs drive quarterly beat By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of the UnitedHealth Group appears on the side of one of their office buildings in Santa Ana, California, U.S., April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) -UnitedHealth Group Inc beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Friday and raised its annual forecast, after a slow recovery in non-urgent procedures helped lower medical costs at its insurance unit.

The industry bellwether expects costs from medical claims to stabilize this year after fluctuating during the pandemic, as inflation and labor shortages could hinder the number of non-urgent procedures that hospitals perform.

UnitedHealth (NYSE:) raised its annual profit forecast to between $24.50 and $25.00 per share on an adjusted basis, higher than its earlier estimate of $24.40 to $24.90. Analysts were expecting a profit of $24.94 per share for 2023, according to Refinitiv.

Excluding items, the company reported a profit of $6.26 per share for the first quarter, beating estimates of $6.13.

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