Health insurer UnitedHealth's revenue rises 30 pct

UnitedHealth reported a 30 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by strength in its Optum pharmacy benefit management business.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares rose in premarket trading. (Get the latest quote here.)

Net profit attributable to UnitedHealth shareholders fell to $1.22 billion, or $1.26 per share, from $1.51 billion, or $1.55 per share, a year earlier. The company posted adjusted earnings of $1.40 per share, down from $1.55 a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose to $43.60 billion from $33.43 billion.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings of $1.38 a share on $43.23 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

In November, the insurer warned investors it expects to see losses on its Obamacare health plans, an announcement that generated fresh debate about the legislation and its impact on insurers. It also said it would consider exiting the exchanges that sell the plans in 2017.

Reuters contributed to this report.