Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, which reports quarterly earnings Thursday is seeing its stock price surge in advance of the company's quarterly earnings report on Thursday.
In the first three months of the year UnitedHealth's net income fell, in part partly because of Medicare cost cuts enacted by the federal Affordable Care Act. The company's share price fell 4 percent following its first quarter earnings report.
But the stock recently has rebounded. Shares hit a one-year high Friday, trading above $83 a share at one point.
On average, analysts expect the health insurer to post adjusted net income of about $1.2 billion on sales of $32 billion. That would amount to a 14 percent decline in net income.
Vishnu Lekraj, an analyst for Morningstar, is looking for signs the company is facing an increase in competition. But he also is watching its enrollment numbers.
"Membership growth in the different product lines they have, as far as Medicare Advantage, the exchanges and the commercial product lines they have, and how well have they been able to preserve that pricing in combination with membership growth," Lekraj said.
This will be the second quarter the company has operated under the new insurance requirements laid out by the Affordable Care Act. In the first quarter, the company's net income fell about 8 percent in part because of Medicare cost cuts the law enacted.
UnitedHealth Group will report Thursday how the company is faring financially in the second three month period since major provisions of the Affordable Care Act took effect.