From the Wires
StockCall Reviews UnitedHealth and Aetna -Industry Trending Upward
By: PR Newswire
Jan. 17, 2013 08:03 AM
LONDON, January 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
StockCall analysts have finalized technical analysis on UnitedHealth Group Incorporated and Aetna Inc., both companies belong to the Health Care Plans industry. These reports were done before UnitedHealth's earnings release today. Register now to access those reports for free at
Health care plan providers will soon be wrapping up their fourth quarter results and it appears that most will beat or at the very least meet earnings expectations. This is particularly encouraging considering the uncertainty that surrounded the industry for the last two months of 2012. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH) is releasing its results today before the market opens, whilst Aetna Inc. [Free Report on AET]  (NYSE: AET) is scheduled to report theirs on January 31st pre-market. In its previous quarter, UnitedHealth posted a 23% surge in profits with management cautioning about 2013. Earnings projections from the company were $5.20 to $5.25 per share. Report on UnitedHealth is available free upon registration at
There were concerns that a combination of an improved economy and a stronger than expected flu season would throw a wrench in to the industry's momentum. Essentially, both of these situations typically lead to a spike in unforeseen claims and can narrow margins for providers. Early looks at earnings reports suggest that these fears were overblown however.
Improving unemployment data and expanding customer bases should continue to be the key drivers for growth this year. More citizens are returning to work leading to an uptick in policies while Medicaid and Medicare customer bases continue to expand on an industry-wide basis. Commercial customers opting to cover insurance costs themselves are a disconcerting trend but may not impact bottom lines considerably this year.
A key element that has kept this industry buoyant amidst a number of legislative changes and a dire economic environment has been the growing number of old age people which comes from a generation that has been able to prosper. This population of retirees is positive news for companies like Aetna which offer services such as health care, group insurance and pension. Aetna announced that its third quarter earnings grew by 2% when it released its results back in October 2012. It projected back then that its adjusted earnings would be around $5.10 per share.
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