UnitedHealth stock rises while web visitors decline

A judge gives a thumbs up to a settlement in UnitedHealth‘s backdating scandal while protesters give a thumbs down to health reform. UnitedHealth’s stock is up, but unique visitors to its websites are down. A few items about UnitedHealth to note this afternoon:

  • A federal judge has approved a $925 million payment to the HMO’s shareholders to settle a class-action lawsuit related to the company’s stock-backdating scandal, the Associated Press reports. Of that amount, former CEO William McGuire will pay $30 million.
  • With thousands losing their jobs and health insurance in recent months, online searches for “COBRA” have almost tripled, the Business Journal reports. However, fewer Googlers are ending up on UnitedHealth’s web pages. Traffic to its sites declined 29 percent.
  • Meanwhile, as jeering town-hall crowds try to shout down health reform, MarketWatch notes that shares of UnitedHealth and other large insurers are up today. The televised scenes are apparently convincing some that it’s a good idea to invest in the status quo.

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