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.
The market has had its struggles in the first half of the year, but these 10 stocks are really making a stink. From RadioShack to AIG, here are the biggest losers so far in 2011. More
|The U.S. economy is showing cracks|
|Ford's big Lincoln Continental is coming back|
|Nearly 1 in 5 people aren't saving at all|
|7 big changes coming to Facebook|
|Apple's Tim Cook: Anti-gay laws are 'very dangerous'|