Jefferies Financial Group Downgrades UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) to Hold

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Jefferies Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They presently have a $235.00 price target on the healthcare conglomerate’s stock, down from their previous price target of $300.00. Jefferies Financial Group’s price target suggests a potential upside of 5.82% from the company’s current price.

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $310.00 price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $298.00 to $294.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, September 26th. Cleveland Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Monday, July 15th. Credit Suisse Group set a $293.00 price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $311.00 price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $283.22.

Shares of NYSE UNH opened at $222.07 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $227.16 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $240.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 0.67 and a quick ratio of 0.67. UnitedHealth Group has a 1 year low of $208.07 and a 1 year high of $287.94. The company has a market cap of $210.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.24, a PEG ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.60.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.46 by $0.14. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 5.51% and a return on equity of 25.20%. The firm had revenue of $60.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $60.59 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $3.14 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts expect that UnitedHealth Group will post 14.83 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director William C. Ballard, Jr. sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $255.31, for a total value of $3,063,720.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 61,309 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,652,800.79. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Richard T. Burke sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $246.40, for a total transaction of $1,232,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 187,979 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $46,318,025.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 24,000 shares of company stock valued at $5,924,120 in the last three months. 0.87% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 0.4% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 12,111,540 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $2,955,336,000 after buying an additional 53,710 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 1,354.6% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 8,540,562 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $2,083,983,000 after acquiring an additional 7,953,416 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 16.7% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,448,289 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $1,573,438,000 after acquiring an additional 922,290 shares in the last quarter. Viking Global Investors LP raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 28.6% in the second quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 4,812,185 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $1,174,221,000 after acquiring an additional 1,071,149 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sanders Capital LLC raised its holdings in UnitedHealth Group by 50.2% in the second quarter. Sanders Capital LLC now owns 4,626,666 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $1,255,689,000 after acquiring an additional 1,546,140 shares in the last quarter. 85.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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 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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Analyst Recommendations for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

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