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UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) releases its next round of earnings this Wednesday, January 20. Get the latest predictions in Benzinga's essential guide to the company's Q4 earnings report.
Net Income, Earnings, And Earnings Per Share
Earnings and EPS are useful metrics of profitability. Total earnings also known as net income is equal to total revenue minus total expenses. Dividing net income by the total number of shares outstanding yields EPS.
Earnings And Revenue
Sell-side analysts expect UnitedHealth Group's EPS to be near $2.41 on sales of $65.10 billion. In the same quarter last year, UnitedHealth Group reported earnings per share of $3.9 on revenue of $60.90 billion.
Why Analyst Estimates And Earnings Surprises Are Important
Wall Street analysts who study this company will publish analyst estimates of revenue and EPS. The averages of all analyst EPS and revenue estimates are called the "consensus estimates"; these consensus estimates can have a significant effect on a company's performance during an earnings release. When a company posts earnings or revenue above or below a consensus estimate, it has posted an "earnings surprise", which can really move a stock depending on the difference between actual and estimated values.
If the company were to report earnings in line when it publishes results Wednesday, quarterly profit would be down 38.21%. Revenue would be have grown 6.89% from the same quarter last year. The company's reported EPS has stacked up against analyst estimates in the past like this:
Shares of UnitedHealth Group were trading at $351.4 as of January 18. Over the last 52-week period, shares are up 17.59%. Given that these returns are generally positive, long-term shareholders can be satisfied going into this earnings release.
Do not be surprised to see the stock move on comments made during its conference call. UnitedHealth Group is scheduled to hold the call at 08:45:00 ET and can be accessed here.
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