In the latest trading session, UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) closed at $248.79, marking a +0.02% move from the previous day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.61%. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 0.72%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.56%.
Heading into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had gained 2.3% over the past month, outpacing the Medical sector's gain of 2.13% and lagging the S&P 500's gain of 5.68% 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 April 16, 2019. In that report, analysts expect UNH to post earnings of $3.59 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 18.09%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $59.66 billion, up 8.11% from the year-ago period.
Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $14.62 per share and revenue of $244.23 billion. These totals would mark changes of +13.51% and +7.95%, respectively, from last year.
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. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
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. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.01% higher. UNH is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
Looking at its valuation, UNH is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 17.01. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 15.38.
Also, we should mention that UNH has a PEG ratio of 1.27. 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 1.18 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 56, which puts it in the top 22% 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.
Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.