UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed the most recent trading day at $277.54, moving -0.95% from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500's 0.32% loss on the day. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.38%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.4%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had gained 9.25% over the past month. This has outpaced the Medical sector's gain of 6.71% and the S&P 500's gain of 2.51% in that time.

UNH will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $3.76, up 14.63% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $61.15 billion, up 4.68% from the year-ago period.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $14.97 per share and revenue of $242 billion, which would represent changes of +16.23% and +6.96%, respectively, from the prior year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.17% higher within the past month. UNH is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that UNH has a Forward P/E ratio of 18.71 right now. This represents a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 19.15.

It is also worth noting that UNH currently has a PEG ratio of 1.48. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. UNH's industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.23 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 58, which puts it in the top 23% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Make sure to utilize Zacks. Com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.


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