UnitedHealth's 1Q profit tumbles 8 percent

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UnitedHealth Group says its first-quarter net income slid 8 percent as fees and funding cuts from the health care overhaul helped dent the performance of the nation's largest health insurer.

UnitedHealth says it earned $1.1 billion, or $1.10 per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That's down from $1.19 billion, or $1.16 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 5 percent to $31.71 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.09 per share on $32.01 billion in revenue.

The Minnetonka, Minnesota, company says the overhaul and government budget cuts added about 35 cents per share in costs during the quarter.

UnitedHealth Group is the first insurer to report earnings every quarter. Many see it as a bellwether for other insurers.

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