Wall Street brokerages expect UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) to report sales of $57.63 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Seven analysts have provided estimates for UnitedHealth Group’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $58.42 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $56.87 billion. UnitedHealth Group reported sales of $52.06 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 10.7%. The company is expected to report its next earnings results on Tuesday, January 15th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that UnitedHealth Group will report full-year sales of $225.19 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $224.02 billion to $226.25 billion. For the next year, analysts expect that the firm will post sales of $243.68 billion, with estimates ranging from $241.43 billion to $246.17 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for UnitedHealth Group.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.30 by $0.11. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 5.71% and a return on equity of 23.62%. The company had revenue of $56.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $56.34 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $2.66 EPS. UnitedHealth Group’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis.

UNH has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group to $310.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Argus lifted their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group to $285.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Oppenheimer lifted their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $276.00 to $295.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group to $308.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies lifted their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group to $300.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. UnitedHealth Group currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $289.41.

NYSE UNH traded up $6.17 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $271.11. 3,848,040 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,673,925. UnitedHealth Group has a 52-week low of $208.48 and a 52-week high of $278.00. The stock has a market cap of $260.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 0.69 and a quick ratio of 0.69.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 3rd will be paid a $0.90 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.33%. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.75%.

In other news, EVP D Ellen Wilson sold 15,393 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $264.29, for a total value of $4,068,215.97. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 66,402 shares in the company, valued at $17,549,384.58. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 163 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $274.83, for a total transaction of $44,797.29. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 69,731 shares of company stock valued at $18,584,675 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. WoodTrust Financial Corp grew its position in UnitedHealth Group by 2.5% during the third quarter. WoodTrust Financial Corp now owns 7,823 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $2,081,000 after buying an additional 189 shares during the period. Advisors Capital Management LLC grew its position in UnitedHealth Group by 15.2% during the third quarter. Advisors Capital Management LLC now owns 1,437 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $382,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC grew its position in UnitedHealth Group by 26.5% during the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 920 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $226,000 after buying an additional 193 shares during the period. Highland Capital Management LLC grew its position in UnitedHealth Group by 0.5% during the third quarter. Highland Capital Management LLC now owns 36,128 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $9,612,000 after buying an additional 194 shares during the period. Finally, OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. grew its position in UnitedHealth Group by 1.2% during the second quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 17,096 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $4,194,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.47% of the company’s stock.

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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