UnitedHealth Group says its fourth-quarter earnings rose 15 percent as the nation's largest health insurer booked a sizeable gain from a business that doesn't sell insurance.
The earnings topped Wall Street expectations.
Overall, UnitedHealth says it earned $1.43 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the three months that ended December 31. That's up from $1.24 billion, or $1.20 per share, in the 2012 quarter. Total revenue climbed 8.2 percent to $31.12 billion.
The Minnetonka, Minnesota, company says operating earnings jumped 43 percent for its Optum segment, which provides information technology and data services and pharmacy benefits management.
Analysts expected earnings of $1.40 per share on $31.15 billion in revenue.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. is the first insurer to report earnings every quarter. Many see it as a bellwether for other insurers.