Optum helps boost UnitedHealth profit past $5B in Q4

UnitedHealth Group saw its revenues just miss analysts' expectations in the fourth quarter of 2019, but the health insurance giant's Optum unit boosted profits.

Five things to know:

1. UnitedHealth recorded $60.9 billion in revenues during the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2019. That's up 4.3 percent year over year from $58.4 billion. Analysts had predicted UnitedHealth would post $61 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019.

2. The company's health insurance unit, UnitedHealthcare, brought in $48.2 billion in revenues for the fourth quarter, up 4.3 percent from $46.2 billion in the same quarter a year prior. The insurer primarily attributed the increase to growth in its Medicare Advantage and commercial benefit lines.

3. Optum, the health services arm of UnitedHealth that includes its pharmacy benefits manager OptumRx, again boosted the health insurer's bottom line. Optum, which includes physicians, brought in $29.8 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter, up nearly 8 percent year over year.

4. UnitedHealth ended the fourth quarter of 2019 with a $5.1 billion profit, up 13.3 percent from $4.5 billion in the same quarter a year prior. The profit includes $2.1 billion from UnitedHealthcare and $3 billion from Optum.

5. For the full year, UnitedHealth recorded a $19.7 billion profit on revenues of $242.2 billion. That's compared to 2018, when the insurer posted a $17.3 billion profit on revenues of $226.2 billion.

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