UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Stock Moves -0.24%: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research
RBC Bearings (ROLL) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed the most recent trading day at $249.33, moving -0.24% from the previous trading session. This change was narrower than the S&P 500's 0.28% loss on the day. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.39%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.45%.

Coming into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had gained 8.4% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector gained 3.34%, while the S&P 500 lost 1.21%.

Investors will be hoping for strength from UNH as it approaches its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $3.47, up 10.51% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $60.61 billion, up 8.07% from the year-ago period.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $14.71 per share and revenue of $243.86 billion, which would represent changes of +14.21% and +7.79%, respectively, from the prior year.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH should also be noted by investors. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.05% higher. UNH currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that UNH has a Forward P/E ratio of 17 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 14.5, which means UNH is trading at a premium to the group.

We can also see that UNH currently has a PEG ratio of 1.34. 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. The Medical - HMOs was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.03 at yesterday's closing price.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 18, which puts it in the top 8% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

To follow UNH in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.


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