Oppenheimer Research Analysts Boost Earnings Estimates for UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH)

UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) – Equities research analysts at Oppenheimer upped their FY2018 EPS estimates for UnitedHealth Group in a research report issued on Tuesday, October 16th, Zacks Investment Research reports. Oppenheimer analyst M. Wiederhorn now expects that the healthcare conglomerate will post earnings per share of $12.79 for the year, up from their previous forecast of $12.72. Oppenheimer currently has a “Outperform” rating and a $295.00 price target on the stock. Oppenheimer also issued estimates for UnitedHealth Group’s Q1 2019 earnings at $3.41 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $3.82 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $3.70 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $14.49 EPS.

A number of other analysts have also commented on the company. Citigroup lowered UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $288.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, September 10th. Raymond James lifted their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $285.00 to $304.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Monday, September 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $278.00 to $305.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $315.00 to $320.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $289.41.

Shares of UNH stock traded down $0.10 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $276.55. The company had a trading volume of 2,904,270 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,982,843. UnitedHealth Group has a 12 month low of $208.48 and a 12 month high of $278.00. The company has a quick ratio of 0.75, a current ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $264.32 billion, a PE ratio of 22.55, a P/E/G ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 0.78.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.30 by $0.11. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 23.62% and a net margin of 5.71%. The company had revenue of $56.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $56.34 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.66 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 3rd will be paid a $0.90 dividend. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.30%. UnitedHealth Group’s payout ratio is presently 35.75%.

In other UnitedHealth Group news, EVP D Ellen Wilson sold 15,393 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $264.29, for a total value of $4,068,215.97. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 66,402 shares in the company, valued at $17,549,384.58. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Richard T. Burke sold 20,000 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $263.41, for a total value of $5,268,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,720,112 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $453,094,701.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 69,568 shares of company stock worth $18,539,877. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. FNY Investment Advisers LLC purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group during the third quarter worth about $106,000. Welch Group LLC purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group during the second quarter worth about $106,000. Blue Chip Partners Inc. purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group during the second quarter worth about $107,000. Polaris Greystone Financial Group LLC purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group during the third quarter worth about $120,000. Finally, Northwest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group during the second quarter worth about $117,000. Institutional investors own 85.43% of the company’s stock.

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.

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