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

Zacks Equity Research

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed the most recent trading day at $234.43, moving +0.35% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.31%. Elsewhere, the Dow lost 0.52%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.28%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 4.36% over the past month. This has lagged the Medical sector's loss of 0.98% and the S&P 500's gain of 2.92% in that time.

UNH will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect UNH to post earnings of $3.77 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 10.59%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $59.81 billion, up 5.75% 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 $242.23 billion. These totals would mark changes of +15.21% and +7.07%, respectively, from last year.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant. UNH is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that UNH has a Forward P/E ratio of 15.77 right now. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 15.66.

Investors should also note that UNH has a PEG ratio of 1.25 right now. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Medical - HMOs industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.04 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 62, which puts it in the top 25% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.

To follow UNH in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.

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