UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, Minn., reported 2006 net income of $4.17 billion on a 54% increase in revenue, to $71.7 billion. In the fourth quarter, net income reached $1.2 billion as revenue rose 47% to $18.16 billion, partly because of its 2005 acquisition of PacifiCare Health Systems and growth in its Medicare prescription-drug plans. UnitedHealth did not provide prior-year earnings figures for comparison because it is still correcting accounting problems stemming from its former stock-options granting practices and has said its historical financial statements were no longer reliable. Full-year results include $100 million in cash and noncash charges tied to the stock-option matter, including $50 million in the fourth quarter, company officials said. UnitedHealth said it still expects 2007 net income of $4.7 billion to $4.75 billion, or an increase of as much as 14% from 2006, subject to adjustments for charges tied to the stock-options matter. But it cut the number of new members it expects to add to its Medicare Advantage plans this year, to between 80,000 and 100,000 from a prior projection of 180,000. -- by Laura B. Benko
UnitedHealth releases fourth-quarter earnings
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