UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) Expected to Post Earnings of $3.76 Per Share

Wall Street analysts predict that UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) will report earnings per share of $3.76 for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Six analysts have provided estimates for UnitedHealth Group’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $3.72 and the highest estimate coming in at $3.79. UnitedHealth Group posted earnings per share of $3.28 in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 14.6%. The firm is scheduled to report its next earnings report on Tuesday, January 21st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that UnitedHealth Group will report full year earnings of $14.97 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $14.93 to $15.00. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $16.44 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $16.36 to $16.52. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of research analysts that follow UnitedHealth Group.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 15th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.75 by $0.13. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 5.57% and a return on equity of 25.30%. The company had revenue of $60.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $59.84 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $3.41 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis.

UNH has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. ValuEngine raised UnitedHealth Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $335.00 price target (up from $310.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a report on Monday, November 18th. Citigroup dropped their price objective on UnitedHealth Group from $299.00 to $286.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. UBS Group lifted their price objective on UnitedHealth Group from $257.00 to $279.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Deutsche Bank began coverage on UnitedHealth Group in a report on Thursday, September 12th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $263.00 price objective for the company. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. UnitedHealth Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $299.35.

In other UnitedHealth Group news, EVP D Ellen Wilson sold 7,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $272.77, for a total transaction of $2,018,498.00. Also, Director Richard T. Burke sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $236.56, for a total value of $5,914,000.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 163,331 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $38,637,581.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 38,577 shares of company stock valued at $9,398,080. 0.82% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UNH. Selective Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group in the 3rd quarter worth $27,000. North Star Investment Management Corp. purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group during the third quarter valued at $30,000. Delta Asset Management LLC TN grew its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 111.0% during the third quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 154 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $33,000 after purchasing an additional 81 shares during the period. Fusion Family Wealth LLC grew its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 329.7% during the third quarter. Fusion Family Wealth LLC now owns 159 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $35,000 after purchasing an additional 122 shares during the period. Finally, Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC increased its position in UnitedHealth Group by 212.5% in the third quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC now owns 175 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $38,000 after buying an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. 85.50% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

UNH traded up $2.68 during trading on Thursday, hitting $282.00. 3,357,292 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,465,418. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $261.20 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $245.94. The company has a current ratio of 0.70, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. UnitedHealth Group has a 12-month low of $208.07 and a 12-month high of $283.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $264.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.89, a PEG ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.64.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 17th. Investors of record on Monday, December 9th will be issued a $1.08 dividend. This represents a $4.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 6th. UnitedHealth Group’s payout ratio is currently 33.54%.

UnitedHealth Group Company Profile

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 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.

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