UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of UnitedHealth Group has outperformed the industry in last one year. Its  robust Government business and continued strong growth at Optum are driving long-term growth. Its international business, growing membership and strong capital position are the other positives. In the most recently reported quarter, the company reported better-than-expected earnings, driven by an increase in revenues and membership. Encouraged by its impressive first-half earnings, the company raised the 2017 guidance. Nevertheless, the company has reduced its exposure to the troubled public exchange business. Though this move will shield it from losses in this business, premium revenues are likely to be affected. Charges related to Penn Treaty are also causes for concern.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on UNH. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on UnitedHealth Group from $202.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. ValuEngine lowered UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $190.00 price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on UnitedHealth Group from $187.00 to $197.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $205.00 price objective (up previously from $203.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $203.59.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group (UNH) traded down 1.19% on Tuesday, reaching $193.96. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,622,552 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $187.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.30 and a beta of 0.63. The company’s 50-day moving average is $196.51 and its 200 day moving average is $184.02. UnitedHealth Group has a 12-month low of $133.03 and a 12-month high of $200.76.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $2.46 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.38 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $50.05 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $49.97 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 21.52% and a net margin of 4.32%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.96 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that UnitedHealth Group will post $9.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, insider Larry C. Renfro sold 50,574 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $198.11, for a total value of $10,019,215.14. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 195,625 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $38,755,268.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 5,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $199.49, for a total value of $1,117,144.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 60,834 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,135,774.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 76,174 shares of company stock valued at $14,981,909 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.89% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 18,383.4% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 2,516,706 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $13,573,000 after buying an additional 2,503,090 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 1,820.1% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,388,641 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $442,896,000 after buying an additional 2,264,242 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 2.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 64,578,618 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $11,974,168,000 after buying an additional 1,588,516 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 77.3% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 3,584,134 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $664,570,000 after buying an additional 1,562,661 shares during the period. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC raised its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 180.4% in the second quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 2,252,507 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $417,660,000 after buying an additional 1,449,130 shares during the period. 86.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

UnitedHealth Group Company Profile

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is a health and well-being company. The Company operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx. It conducts its operations through two business platforms: health benefits operating under UnitedHealthcare and health services operating under Optum.

Analyst Recommendations for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

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