UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) closed at $282.55 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.57% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.22%. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 0.11%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.25%.
Prior to today's trading, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had gained 7.5% over the past month. This has outpaced the Medical sector's gain of 6.05% and the S&P 500's gain of 3.57% in that time.
UNH will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 15, 2019. On that day, UNH is projected to report earnings of $3.22 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 24.32%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $57.78 billion, up 10.99% from the prior-year quarter.
For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $12.81 per share and revenue of $225.54 billion, which would represent changes of +27.21% and +12.12%, respectively, from the prior year.
Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. 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.
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 0.13% higher within the past month. UNH currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
In terms of valuation, UNH is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 21.93. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 19.99, which means UNH is trading at a premium to the group.
Investors should also note that UNH has a PEG ratio of 1.62 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. Medical - HMOs stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.45 based on yesterday's closing prices.
The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 89, which puts it in the top 35% 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.