UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “UnitedHealth Group’s strong Government business and continued strong growth at Optum are driving long term growth. Its international business and strong capital position are other positives. On the back of its solid first-quarter earnings, the company raised its 2017 guidance. Nevertheless, year to date, the shares have returned 13%, underperforming the Zacks categorized HMO industry’s gain of 18%. Recently, an ex-employee of the company played whistleblower, accusing it of overcharging $1 billion on the Medicare Advantage policies sold between 2011 and 2014. The DoJ has also filed a lawsuit for the same. Moreover, the company has reduced its exposure to the troubled public exchange business. Though this move will shield it from losses in this business, the company’s premium revenues are likely to be affected.”
UNH has been the subject of several other research reports. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $192.00 price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a report on Friday, May 19th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $205.00 price objective (up previously from $200.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a report on Saturday, April 22nd. Vetr downgraded shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $179.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, April 24th. Evercore ISI reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $185.00 price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, CIBC upped their price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $186.00 to $187.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, April 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $184.23.
Shares of UnitedHealth Group (UNH) traded up 0.25% during trading on Monday, hitting $182.08. 1,322,288 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $176.17 and a 200 day moving average of $166.97. The stock has a market cap of $175.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.31 and a beta of 0.65. UnitedHealth Group has a 12-month low of $132.39 and a 12-month high of $183.76.
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 18th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $2.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.17 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $48.72 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $48.21 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 4.13% and a return on equity of 21.42%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.81 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that UnitedHealth Group will post $9.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 27th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 19th will be issued a $0.75 dividend. This is an increase from UnitedHealth Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 15th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.65%. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.36%.
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In other news, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 838 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $169.12, for a total value of $141,722.56. Following the transaction, the director now owns 28,528 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,824,655.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP D Ellen Wilson sold 14,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $170.54, for a total value of $2,387,560.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 31,993 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,456,086.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 30,378 shares of company stock worth $5,285,052 in the last quarter. 0.89% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 2,188.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 68,633,762 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $11,256,624,000 after buying an additional 65,634,528 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 4.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 62,990,102 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $10,331,007,000 after buying an additional 2,778,336 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 55,779,019 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $8,926,875,000 after buying an additional 476,497 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 2.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 45,724,509 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $7,499,276,000 after buying an additional 1,122,534 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the fourth quarter worth $1,658,560,000. Institutional investors own 86.73% of the company’s stock.
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.
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