UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Price Target Raised to $305.00 at Morgan Stanley

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) had its price objective upped by Morgan Stanley from $278.00 to $305.00 in a research note released on Wednesday, September 5th. The firm currently has an overweight rating on the healthcare conglomerate’s stock.

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on UNH. SunTrust Banks assumed coverage on UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Monday, June 11th. They set a buy rating and a $300.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded UnitedHealth Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, May 31st. Leerink Swann reiterated an outperform rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a buy rating and issued a $300.00 target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Thursday, July 5th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on UnitedHealth Group from $285.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock a positive rating in a research report on Thursday, June 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the company. UnitedHealth Group has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $272.43.

Shares of NYSE UNH opened at $265.49 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $251.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.36, a PEG ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.71. UnitedHealth Group has a one year low of $186.00 and a one year high of $271.16. The company has a current ratio of 0.75, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 17th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $3.04 by $0.10. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 22.79% and a net margin of 5.55%. The company had revenue of $56.09 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $56.10 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.46 EPS. UnitedHealth Group’s quarterly revenue was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that UnitedHealth Group will post 12.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 18th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 7th will be paid a $0.90 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 6th. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.36%. UnitedHealth Group’s payout ratio is presently 35.75%.

UnitedHealth Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, June 6th that permits the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the healthcare conglomerate to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 177 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $255.72, for a total value of $45,262.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 29,053 shares in the company, valued at $7,429,433.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP D Ellen Wilson sold 15,393 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction on Friday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $264.29, for a total value of $4,068,215.97. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 66,402 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,549,384.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 86,603 shares of company stock worth $22,837,660. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. White Lighthouse Investment Management Inc. purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group during the second quarter worth about $324,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 7,692,899 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $1,887,377,000 after purchasing an additional 39,480 shares in the last quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 195.2% in the 1st quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. now owns 76,341 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $16,337,000 after purchasing an additional 50,480 shares in the last quarter. Granite Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Granite Investment Advisors LLC now owns 34,225 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $8,397,000 after purchasing an additional 476 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Synovus Financial Corp boosted its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 53,952 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $13,238,000 after purchasing an additional 1,985 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.39% of the company’s stock.

UnitedHealth Group Company Profile

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health care company in the United States. It operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight, and OptumRx. The UnitedHealthcare segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services for national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; health care coverage, and health and well-being services to individuals age 50 and older, addressing their needs for preventive and acute health care services, as well as services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals; and Medicaid plans, Children's Health Insurance Program, and health care programs; and health and dental benefits.

Further Reading: Return on Investment (ROI)

Analyst Recommendations for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

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