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UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

In the latest trading session, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed at $221.24, marking a +0.66% move from the previous day. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.45%. Elsewhere, the Dow lost 0.36%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.33%.

Heading into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 4.26% over the past month, lagging the Medical sector's loss of 1.24% and the S&P 500's gain of 0.59% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from UNH as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be October 15, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $3.75, up 9.97% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $59.62 billion, up 5.42% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $14.84 per share and revenue of $241.18 billion. These totals would mark changes of +15.22% and +6.6%, respectively, from last year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.03% lower. UNH is currently a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Investors should also note UNH's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 14.82. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 14.66.

We can also see that UNH currently has a PEG ratio of 1.17. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. The Medical - HMOs was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.02 at yesterday's closing price.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 106, which puts it in the top 42% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Make sure to utilize Zacks. Com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.


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