In the latest trading session, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed at $502.94, marking a +0.69% move from the previous day. This change outpaced the S&P 500’s 0.1% loss on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.26%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.1%.
Coming into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had gained 10.51% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector gained 4.04%, while the S&P 500 gained 4.4%.
Wall Street will be looking for positivity from UnitedHealth Group as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be January 19, 2022. In that report, analysts expect UnitedHealth Group to post earnings of $4.31 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 71.03%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $72.73 billion, up 11.09% from the year-ago period.
For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $18.85 per share and revenue of $287.08 billion, which would represent changes of +11.67% and +11.64%, respectively, from the prior year.
Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for UnitedHealth Group. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company’s business and profitability.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, 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 0.05% lower. UnitedHealth Group is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.
In terms of valuation, UnitedHealth Group is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 26.5. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 23.35, so we one might conclude that UnitedHealth Group is trading at a premium comparatively.
It is also worth noting that UNH currently has a PEG ratio of 1.85. 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. UNH’s industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.31 as of yesterday’s close.
The Medical – HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 207, which puts it in the bottom 19% 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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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.