In the latest trading session, UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) closed at $266.04, marking a +0.53% move from the previous day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0% on the day. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.07%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.06%.
Heading into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 1.39% over the past month, lagging the Medical sector's gain of 2.32% and the S&P 500's gain of 0.78% in that time.
Wall Street will be looking for positivity from UNH as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be October 16, 2018. The company is expected to report EPS of $3.30, up 24.06% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $56.13 billion, up 11.54% from the year-ago period.
For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $12.72 per share and revenue of $224.86 billion, which would represent changes of +26.32% and +11.78%, respectively, from the prior year.
Any recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH should also be noted by investors. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. 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. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.
The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.04% higher. UNH is holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) right now.
Valuation is also important, so investors should note that UNH has a Forward P/E ratio of 20.8 right now. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 18.82.
It is also worth noting that UNH currently has a PEG ratio of 1.57. 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 1.43 as of yesterday's close.
The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 36, which puts it in the top 14% 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.
You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.