Equities research analysts expect UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) to report sales of $56.13 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Seven analysts have issued estimates for UnitedHealth Group’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $55.82 billion to $56.51 billion. UnitedHealth Group reported sales of $50.32 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 11.5%. The company is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, October 16th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that UnitedHealth Group will report full-year sales of $224.86 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $224.03 billion to $225.98 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the firm will post sales of $243.01 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $238.87 billion to $245.64 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow UnitedHealth Group.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 17th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.04 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $56.09 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $56.10 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 22.79% and a net margin of 5.55%. The firm’s revenue was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $2.46 EPS.

Several research firms recently issued reports on UNH. Zacks Investment Research downgraded UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Cowen began coverage on UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Monday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $308.00 price target for the company. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and issued a $300.00 price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Thursday, July 5th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $285.00 to $300.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the company. UnitedHealth Group has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $274.05.

In other news, CEO Steven H. Nelson sold 8,142 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $265.00, for a total transaction of $2,157,630.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 22,496 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,961,440. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Richard T. Burke sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $263.41, for a total value of $5,268,200.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,720,112 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $453,094,701.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 94,745 shares of company stock valued at $24,995,290. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in UNH. Welch Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the 2nd quarter worth $106,000. Blue Chip Partners Inc. bought a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the 2nd quarter worth $107,000. Bamco Inc. NY bought a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the 1st quarter worth $117,000. Northwest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the 2nd quarter worth $117,000. Finally, Fort L.P. bought a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the 2nd quarter worth $119,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.31% of the company’s stock.

UNH traded down $0.47 during trading on Friday, hitting $263.40. The stock had a trading volume of 66,750 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,335,011. The company has a market capitalization of $255.35 billion, a PE ratio of 26.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 0.71. UnitedHealth Group has a one year low of $186.00 and a one year high of $271.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.75 and a quick ratio of 0.75.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 18th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 7th will be given a dividend of $0.90 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 6th. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.37%. UnitedHealth Group’s payout ratio is 35.75%.

UnitedHealth Group announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 6th that authorizes the company to buyback 100,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the healthcare conglomerate to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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 care coverage, and 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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