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UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed the most recent trading day at $307.23, moving -0.43% from the previous trading session. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.52%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.01%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.21%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 3.73% over the past month. This has lagged the Medical sector's of 0% and the S&P 500's gain of 0.49% in that time.

UNH will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $2.98, down 23.2% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $63.73 billion, up 5.61% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $16.58 per share and revenue of $255.06 billion. These totals would mark changes of +9.73% and +5.33%, respectively, from last year.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. 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. 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 ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering 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.

In terms of valuation, UNH is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 18.61. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 15.17, so we one might conclude that UNH is trading at a premium comparatively.

We can also see that UNH currently has a PEG ratio of 1.47. 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 1.47 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 32, putting it in the top 13% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual 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.

To follow UNH in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.


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