UnitedHealth says first-quarter profit fell due to higher costs

April 17 Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:16am EDT

April 17 (Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest U.S. health insurer, said on Thursday that first-quarter profit fell due to costs and taxes related to the national healthcare reform law as well as government cuts to Medicare funding.

UnitedHealth said that net profit was $1.1 billion, or about $1.10 per share, compared with $1.2 billion, or $1.16 per share a year earlier. Analysts had expected first quarter profit of $1.09 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

UnitedHealth stuck by its previous forecast for 2014 earnings of $5.40 to $5.60 per share. (Reporting by Caroline Humer, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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