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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 $244.70, marking a +0.44% move from the previous day. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.45%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.51%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.42%.

Heading into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 9.98% over the past month, lagging the Medical sector's loss of 4.12% and the S&P 500's loss of 1.64% 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 $57.94 billion, up 11.29% from the prior-year quarter.

It is also important to note the 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.

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, 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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant within the past month. UNH is holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) right now.

Looking at its valuation, UNH is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 16.67. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 14.58.

Also, we should mention that UNH has a PEG ratio of 1.23. 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 1.08 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 64, putting it in the top 25% 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 Zacks.com.




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