UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of UnitedHealth Group have outperformed the industry in the last six months. The company’s robust Government business and continued strong growth at Optum are driving long-term growth. Its international business and strong capital position that allows for business investment are the other positives. It has been witnessing an increase in membership from past many years. The company raised its 2018 earnings guidance led by tax reform upside. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised upward over the last 90 days. Nevertheless, membership loss in its fee based commercial business and Brazilian business will pull down the overall membership growth.”

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A number of other analysts have also recently commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a buy rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Evercore ISI reiterated an outperform rating and set a $255.00 target price (up previously from $235.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Wells Fargo reiterated an outperform rating and set a $245.00 target price (up previously from $230.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Wednesday, November 29th. ValuEngine cut UnitedHealth Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They issued a buy rating and a $269.00 price target on the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $244.62.

UnitedHealth Group stock opened at $214.00 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a current ratio of 0.73. UnitedHealth Group has a 1-year low of $162.74 and a 1-year high of $250.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $207,079.89, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 0.74.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 16th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $2.59 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.50 by $0.09. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 21.29% and a net margin of 5.25%. The business had revenue of $52.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $51.57 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.11 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that UnitedHealth Group will post 12.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 9th were issued a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.40%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 8th. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 29.79%.

In other UnitedHealth Group news, insider Larry C. Renfro sold 22,184 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $228.94, for a total value of $5,078,804.96. Following the sale, the insider now owns 173,229 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $39,659,047.26. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 198 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $242.55, for a total value of $48,024.90. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,790,567 shares in the company, valued at approximately $434,302,025.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 77,015 shares of company stock worth $17,879,199 in the last ninety days. 0.89% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Exane Derivatives boosted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 15,333.3% during the 4th quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 463 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $102,000 after acquiring an additional 460 shares in the last quarter. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $102,000. Pathstone Family Office LLC purchased a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $129,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the 4th quarter worth approximately $133,000. Finally, Intellectus Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 18.2% during the 2nd quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC now owns 818 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $152,000 after acquiring an additional 126 shares in the last quarter. 86.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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UnitedHealth Group Company Profile

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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