UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of UnitedHealth Group outperformed the industry in past six months. Robust Government business and continued strong performance at Optum are driving the company’s long-term growth. International business and strong capital position are its other positives. It has been witnessing an increase in membership for the past many years. On the back of its impressive earnings in the first nine months, the company raised its 2017 guidance. It has reduced exposure to the troubled public exchange business. Though this move will shield it from losses in this business, premium revenues are likely to be affected. Charges related to Penn Treaty are other causes of concern.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and set a $212.00 target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Credit Suisse Group reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $200.00 target price (up previously from $195.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $190.00 target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on UnitedHealth Group from $195.00 to $213.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $215.27.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 17th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $2.66 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.57 by $0.09. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 21.52% and a net margin of 4.50%. The firm had revenue of $50.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $50.38 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.17 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

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In related news, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 5,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $199.49, for a total transaction of $1,117,144.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 60,834 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,135,774.66. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas E. Roos sold 975 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $205.47, for a total value of $200,333.25. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 24,630 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,060,726.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 72,149 shares of company stock valued at $14,212,342 over the last three months. 0.89% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of UNH. Jennison Associates lifted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. Jennison Associates now owns 399,902 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $46,393,000 after acquiring an additional 2,902 shares during the last quarter. Eagle Asset Management lifted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 82.8% during the 3rd quarter. Eagle Asset Management now owns 76,396 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $8,862,000 after acquiring an additional 34,611 shares during the last quarter. Janus Capital Management lifted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 21.4% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Capital Management now owns 3,312,800 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $384,318,000 after acquiring an additional 583,578 shares during the last quarter. Kistler-Tiffany Companies lifted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 15.5% during the 4th quarter. Kistler-Tiffany Companies now owns 3,387 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $398,000 after acquiring an additional 454 shares during the last quarter. Finally, MB Financial Bank Trust Department lifted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 8.2% during the 4th quarter. MB Financial Bank Trust Department now owns 91,049 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $10,711,000 after acquiring an additional 6,865 shares during the last quarter. 86.14% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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