SunTrust Banks Begins Coverage on UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

Equities research analysts at SunTrust Banks started coverage on shares of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) in a report issued on Monday. The brokerage set a “buy” rating and a $300.00 price target on the healthcare conglomerate’s stock. SunTrust Banks’ target price indicates a potential upside of 19.50% from the stock’s previous close.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $278.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 23rd. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $275.00 to $285.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $275.00 price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 18th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $270.00 price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a report on Wednesday, April 18th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $260.00 to $270.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 18th. Twenty-eight research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $259.28.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group stock traded up $0.36 on Monday, hitting $251.04. The stock had a trading volume of 23,459 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,378,341. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.71 and a current ratio of 0.71. UnitedHealth Group has a one year low of $176.42 and a one year high of $251.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $240.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.91, a P/E/G ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 0.74.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 17th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.91 by $0.13. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 5.41% and a return on equity of 22.06%. The firm had revenue of $55.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $54.90 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $2.37 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that UnitedHealth Group will post 12.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

UnitedHealth Group declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, June 6th that authorizes the company to repurchase 100,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the healthcare conglomerate to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 202 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $237.42, for a total value of $47,958.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 28,948 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,872,834.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Richard T. Burke sold 15,000 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $248.82, for a total value of $3,732,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,746,533 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $434,572,341.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 76,619 shares of company stock valued at $17,892,385. 0.87% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of UNH. Exane Derivatives raised its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 15,333.3% in the 4th quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 463 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 460 shares during the last quarter. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group in the 4th quarter worth about $102,000. Bamco Inc. NY purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group in the 1st quarter worth about $117,000. Pathstone Family Office LLC purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group in the 4th quarter worth about $129,000. Finally, Trustcore Financial Services LLC purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group in the 4th quarter worth about $133,000. 84.99% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health care company in the United States. It operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight, and OptumRx. The UnitedHealthcare segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services for national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; health care coverage, and health and well-being services to individuals age 50 and older, addressing their needs for preventive and acute health care services, as well as services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals; and Medicaid plans, Children's Health Insurance Program, and health care programs; and health and dental benefits.

Analyst Recommendations for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

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