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UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

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In the latest trading session, UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) closed at $513.94, marking a +1.1% move from the previous day. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.97%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 1.88%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 0.24%.

Coming into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 2.77% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector lost 6.47%, while the S&P 500 lost 9.93%.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from UnitedHealth Group as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be October 14, 2022. On that day, UnitedHealth Group is projected to report earnings of $5.45 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 20.58%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $80.72 billion, up 11.59% from the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $21.86 per share and revenue of $322.21 billion, which would represent changes of +14.93% and +12.04%, respectively, from the prior year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for UnitedHealth Group. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.07% lower within the past month. UnitedHealth Group is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that UnitedHealth Group has a Forward P/E ratio of 23.25 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 18.59, so we one might conclude that UnitedHealth Group is trading at a premium comparatively.

Investors should also note that UNH has a PEG ratio of 1.59 right now. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. The Medical - HMOs industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.11 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 59, which puts it in the top 24% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. 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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