#9 UnitedHealth Group
Ticker: UNH
YTD performance: 38%
Market cap: $54.6 billion

Shareholders of UnitedHealth (UNH) reaped the rewards this year from the managed care company's strong profits and upbeat guidance.

UnitedHealth raised its full-year guidance in late April to $3.95 to $4.05 a share, well ahead of analysts' forecasts. The company also increased its quarterly dividend last month to 16.25 cents a share, from 12.5 cents a share.

UnitedHealth's performance is also tied to what has been broad investor interest in healthcare stocks this year as a defensive play against what has been a recently downward-trending market.




All data current as of June 17, 2011.
Last updated June 29 2011: 7:39 AM ET
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