Investors Buy High Volume of Call Options on UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 19,286 call options on the company. This is an increase of 675% compared to the average volume of 2,488 call options.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) opened at 181.63 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $175.03 billion, a PE ratio of 23.25 and a beta of 0.65. UnitedHealth Group has a 52 week low of $132.39 and a 52 week high of $183.76. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $176.17 and a 200 day moving average of $166.97.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 18th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $2.37 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.17 by $0.20. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 21.42% and a net margin of 4.13%. The firm had revenue of $48.72 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $48.21 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.81 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that UnitedHealth Group will post $9.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 27th. Investors of record on Monday, June 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. This is an increase from UnitedHealth Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 15th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.65%. UnitedHealth Group’s payout ratio is 31.13%.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on UNH. BidaskClub raised shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Leerink Swann reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $202.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $201.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 7th. Finally, Vetr downgraded shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $186.50 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, June 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. UnitedHealth Group presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $184.23.

In other UnitedHealth Group news, Director William C. Ballard, Jr. sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $182.64, for a total transaction of $913,200.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 75,735 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,832,240.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 838 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $169.12, for a total transaction of $141,722.56. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 28,528 shares in the company, valued at $4,824,655.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 30,378 shares of company stock worth $5,285,052. Insiders own 0.89% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UNH. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 2,188.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 68,633,762 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $11,256,624,000 after buying an additional 65,634,528 shares during the period. Dodge & Cox purchased a new stake in UnitedHealth Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,658,560,000. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in UnitedHealth Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,530,177,000. TPG Group Holdings SBS Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in UnitedHealth Group during the first quarter worth approximately $510,530,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 4.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 62,990,102 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $10,331,007,000 after buying an additional 2,778,336 shares during the period. 86.69% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About UnitedHealth Group

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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