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UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

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UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $476.96, moving +1.59% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.89%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 1.2%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.68%.

Heading into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 5.93% over the past month, lagging the Medical sector's loss of 4.48% and the S&P 500's loss of 3.9% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from UnitedHealth Group as it approaches its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $6.23, up 13.48% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $89.35 billion, up 11.47% from the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $24.91 per share and revenue of $358.97 billion, which would represent changes of +12.26% and +10.74%, respectively, from the prior year.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for UnitedHealth Group should also be noted by investors. 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.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, 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. UnitedHealth Group is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Digging into valuation, UnitedHealth Group currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 18.84. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 13.35.

Investors should also note that UNH has a PEG ratio of 1.32 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. UNH's industry had an average PEG ratio of 0.82 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 221, which puts it in the bottom 13% 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.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on

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