Short Interest in UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) Increases By 16.6%

UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) saw a significant growth in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 9,830,000 shares, a growth of 16.6% from the September 30th total of 8,430,000 shares. Currently, 1.0% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 4,180,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.4 days.

Shares of NYSE:UNH traded up $1.56 on Tuesday, hitting $255.65. The stock had a trading volume of 331,102 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,387,536. UnitedHealth Group has a twelve month low of $208.07 and a twelve month high of $287.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a current ratio of 0.70. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $235.74 and its 200-day moving average price is $241.37. The company has a market capitalization of $243.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.85, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.61.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 15th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.75 by $0.13. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 5.57% and a return on equity of 25.30%. The company had revenue of $60.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $59.84 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $3.41 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that UnitedHealth Group will post 14.96 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 17th. Investors of record on Monday, December 9th will be given a dividend of $1.08 per share. This represents a $4.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.69%. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.54%.

In other news, CAO Thomas E. Roos sold 1,177 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $255.04, for a total transaction of $300,182.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 21,687 shares in the company, valued at $5,531,052.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Timothy Patrick Flynn acquired 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 28th. The shares were bought at an average price of $227.55 per share, with a total value of $455,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,524 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,256,986.20. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 33,177 shares of company stock valued at $7,842,582 over the last 90 days. 0.82% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Selective Wealth Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $27,000. North Star Investment Management Corp. bought a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $30,000. Delta Asset Management LLC TN increased its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 111.0% in the 3rd quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 154 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $33,000 after acquiring an additional 81 shares during the last quarter. Fusion Family Wealth LLC increased its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 329.7% in the 3rd quarter. Fusion Family Wealth LLC now owns 159 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $35,000 after acquiring an additional 122 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC increased its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 212.5% in the 3rd quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC now owns 175 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $38,000 after acquiring an additional 119 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.75% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Mizuho assumed coverage on UnitedHealth Group in a report on Thursday, October 17th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $270.00 target price for the company. Citigroup lowered their target price on UnitedHealth Group from $299.00 to $286.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 16th. Barclays set a $260.00 target price on UnitedHealth Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 8th. ValuEngine upgraded UnitedHealth Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group downgraded UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $300.00 to $235.00 in a report on Thursday, October 10th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. UnitedHealth Group presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $283.84.

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 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.

Featured Article: What is Elliott Wave theory?

Receive News & Ratings for UnitedHealth Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for UnitedHealth Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.