UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) Sets New 1-Year High on Analyst Upgrade

UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH)’s share price hit a new 52-week high on Friday after Raymond James raised their price target on the stock from $300.00 to $320.00. Raymond James currently has a buy rating on the stock. UnitedHealth Group traded as high as $283.04 and last traded at $280.52, with a volume of 1177187 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $282.00.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald lifted their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $310.00 to $315.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. ValuEngine raised UnitedHealth Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Barclays raised their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $260.00 to $305.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, December 2nd. Jefferies Financial Group lowered UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $300.00 to $235.00 in a report on Thursday, October 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $312.00 price objective (up previously from $294.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a report on Friday, November 22nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $299.35.

In related news, EVP D Ellen Wilson sold 7,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $272.77, for a total transaction of $2,018,498.00. Also, Director Richard T. Burke sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $232.76, for a total transaction of $581,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 187,979 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $43,753,992.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 38,577 shares of company stock worth $9,398,080. 0.82% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 1,354.6% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 8,540,562 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $2,083,983,000 after buying an additional 7,953,416 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners lifted its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 160.8% in the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 2,550,998 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $622,942,000 after acquiring an additional 1,572,711 shares in the last quarter. Viking Global Investors LP boosted its stake in shares of 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 worth $1,174,221,000 after acquiring an additional 1,071,149 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in shares of 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 worth $1,573,438,000 after acquiring an additional 922,290 shares during the period. Finally, Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC boosted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 63.3% in the second quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 1,705,888 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $416,254,000 after acquiring an additional 661,064 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.50% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a 50 day moving average of $262.08 and a 200-day moving average of $246.14. The company has a market cap of $265.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.64. The company has a current ratio of 0.70, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 15th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.75 by $0.13. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 25.30% and a net margin of 5.57%. The business had revenue of $60.35 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $59.84 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $3.41 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that UnitedHealth Group Inc will post 14.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 9th will be issued a $1.08 dividend. This represents a $4.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 6th. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.54%.

UnitedHealth Group Company Profile (NYSE:UNH)

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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