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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 at $263.54 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.97% move from the prior day. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.63%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.68%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.64%.

Heading into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 2.97% over the past month, outpacing the Medical sector's loss of 3.98% and the S&P 500's loss of 4.95% 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 January 15, 2019. In that report, analysts expect UNH to post earnings of $3.22 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 24.32%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $57.63 billion, up 10.69% from the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $12.81 per share and revenue of $225.19 billion, which would represent changes of +27.21% and +11.95%, respectively, from the prior year.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

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.

Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.7% higher within the past month. UNH is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that UNH has a Forward P/E ratio of 20.38 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 18.7, so we one might conclude that UNH is trading at a premium comparatively.

Investors should also note that UNH has a PEG ratio of 1.5 right now. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. Medical - HMOs stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.36 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 21, putting it in the top 8% 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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