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First-quarter profits fall at UnitedHealth, U.S. Bancorp

A couple of Minnesota companies today are reporting first-quarter profits that are lower than what they were a year ago but higher than what analysts expected for the period.

UnitedHealth Group‘s earnings fell off only slightly from 2008. The Minnetonka-based HMO netted $1.67 billion in the three months ending March 31, down from $1.71 billion a year ago.

U.S. Bancorp profits, meanwhile, fell 61 percent, compared with the first-quarter of 2008. The loss is in part because the bank is setting aside money to cover expected loan losses.

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