This excerpt taken from the UNH 8-K filed Jan 22, 2009.
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP REPORTS 2008 FINANCIAL RESULTS
MINNEAPOLIS (January 22, 2009) UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) today reported fourth quarter and full year 2008 results, which included strong cash flows from operations, a continued strong balance sheet and financial position, and key financial measures and medical cost trends well in line with Company expectations. Continuing growth in the Public and Senior Markets Group drove total net growth of 95,000 people served across all medical benefit product categories in the fourth quarter of 2008.
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UnitedHealth Group Continued
Stephen J. Hemsley, president and chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group, said, During 2008 we effectively strengthened performance, improving our position despite the challenging economic environment. In 2009 we expect meaningful growth in our government-sponsored businesses as well as a year-over-year improvement in their product mix. There is strong interest in our Medicare market offerings and continued expansion from our state and public health program relationships, including growth in public sector specialty benefits. Notable improvements in our commercial health benefit businesses are taking root, including gains in fundamental operating performance and local market momentum.
Full year net earnings were $2.40 per share; adjusted for special items, the Company earned $2.95 per share in 2008.
Fourth quarter net earnings of $0.60 per share included an $0.18 per share charge to operating costs for the previously announced resolution of class action litigation for out of network medical services; adjusted fourth quarter net earnings were $0.78 per share. Both reported and adjusted fourth quarter earnings per share included $0.03 per share in net realized capital losses, primarily due to venture capital investment write-downs, partially offset by $0.01 per share pertaining to an insurance recovery on a previously reported legal settlement. The net realized capital losses, the costs of the legal matter from third quarter 2008 and the subsequent fourth quarter insurance recovery have not been treated as special items in the Companys financial statements.