UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Saturday. The firm presently has a $267.00 price target on the healthcare conglomerate’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 9.72% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of UnitedHealth Group outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The company’s fourth-quarter earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and grew year over year, led by higher revenues in both its segments and membership growth. The company’s robust Government business and continued strong growth at Optum are driving long-term growth. Its international business and strong capital position that allows for business investment are the other positives. It has been witnessing an increase in membership from past many years. The company raised its 2018 earnings guidance led by tax reform upside. Nevertheless, membership loss in its fee based commercial business and Brazilian business will pull down the overall membership growth.”

UNH has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on UnitedHealth Group in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $269.00 target price for the company. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on UnitedHealth Group from $215.00 to $235.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on UnitedHealth Group from $252.00 to $260.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday. ValuEngine lowered UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, Bank of America increased their target price on UnitedHealth Group from $230.00 to $240.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-six have assigned a buy rating to the company. UnitedHealth Group has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $243.22.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE UNH) traded up $0.19 on Friday, hitting $243.35. The stock had a trading volume of 4,289,381 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,010,000. The company has a market cap of $235,290.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.72, a PEG ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.66. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. UnitedHealth Group has a 1-year low of $156.49 and a 1-year high of $244.35.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 16th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $2.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.50 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $52.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $51.57 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 21.29% and a net margin of 5.25%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.11 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that UnitedHealth Group will post 12.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 457 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $211.03, for a total transaction of $96,440.71. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 5,600 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $223.31, for a total value of $1,250,536.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 61,137 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,652,503.47. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 33,655 shares of company stock valued at $7,469,083. 0.89% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in UNH. Capital International Investors raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 399.3% during the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 4,132,602 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $809,370,000 after buying an additional 3,304,902 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 146.0% during the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 5,541,977 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $1,085,396,000 after buying an additional 3,289,470 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 1,820.1% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,388,641 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $442,896,000 after buying an additional 2,264,242 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 2.5% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 64,578,618 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $11,974,168,000 after buying an additional 1,588,516 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 77.3% during the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 3,584,134 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $664,570,000 after buying an additional 1,562,661 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.09% of the company’s stock.

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About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is a health and well-being company. The Company operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx. It conducts its operations through two business platforms: health benefits operating under UnitedHealthcare and health services operating under Optum.

Analyst Recommendations for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

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