UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) – Investment analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies upped their Q1 2019 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of UnitedHealth Group in a report released on Wednesday, November 28th. Piper Jaffray Companies analyst S. James now forecasts that the healthcare conglomerate will post earnings of $3.48 per share for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $3.39. Piper Jaffray Companies has a “Overweight” rating and a $312.00 price objective on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies also issued estimates for UnitedHealth Group’s Q2 2019 earnings at $3.58 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $3.90 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $3.76 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $14.72 EPS, Q1 2020 earnings at $3.97 EPS, Q2 2020 earnings at $4.01 EPS, Q3 2020 earnings at $4.41 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $16.74 EPS.
A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on UNH. ValuEngine upgraded shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Raymond James boosted their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $285.00 to $304.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Monday, September 24th. Oppenheimer boosted their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $295.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday. Bank of America upped their price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $315.00 to $320.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $292.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $292.48.
Shares of UNH opened at $282.55 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $260.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.06, a PEG ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 0.78. UnitedHealth Group has a 1-year low of $208.48 and a 1-year high of $285.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a current ratio of 0.69.
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.41 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.30 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $56.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $56.34 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 5.71% and a return on equity of 23.62%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.66 earnings per share.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 3rd will be issued a $0.90 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.27%. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.75%.
In related news, Director Richard T. Burke sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the director now directly owns 1,720,112 shares in the company, valued at $453,094,701.92. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Steven H. Nelson sold 26,033 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $270.65, for a total transaction of $7,045,831.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 60,428 shares of company stock worth $16,232,134. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Central Bank & Trust Co. lifted its position in UnitedHealth Group by 8.5% during the third quarter. Central Bank & Trust Co. now owns 28,506 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $7,583,000 after purchasing an additional 2,238 shares during the period. Belpointe Asset Management LLC lifted its position in UnitedHealth Group by 52.1% during the third quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC now owns 8,158 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $2,170,000 after purchasing an additional 2,796 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in UnitedHealth Group by 1.6% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 69,342,549 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $18,447,892,000 after purchasing an additional 1,073,505 shares during the period. WealthPLAN Partners LLC lifted its position in UnitedHealth Group by 13.8% during the third quarter. WealthPLAN Partners LLC now owns 4,428 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $1,158,000 after purchasing an additional 536 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted its position in UnitedHealth Group by 18.1% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 6,495,072 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $1,727,948,000 after purchasing an additional 996,515 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.45% 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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