UnitedHealth Group Inc.
) is set to report fourth-quarter and full year 2013 results
before the opening bell on Jan 16. In the last reported quarter,
the company's earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus
Estimate. Let's see how things are shaping up for this
Growth Factors in the Fourth Quarter
UnitedHealth has been facing numerous challenges related to the
Affordable Care Act. Despite the headwinds, the company has been
able to achieve top as well as bottom-line growth, led by its
diversified and differentiated business profile. The company has
also seen an increase in its membership led by higher enrollment
in its international business.
UnitedHealth has also benefited from efficient expense management
along with a strong balance sheet.
Our proven model does not conclusively show that UnitedHealth is
likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock
needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2
or 3 for this to happen. However, that is not the case here as
you will see below.
With the Most Accurate estimate pegged at $1.40, in line
with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, Zacks ESP is 0.00%.
Zacks Rank #3 (Hold):
UnitedHealth's Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of
ESP, but when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction
difficult. We caution against stocks with Zacks #4 and #5 Ranks
(Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement,
especially when the company is seeing a negative estimate
Other Stocks to Consider
Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our
model shows that these have the right combination of elements to
post an earnings beat this quarter:
CNO Financial Group, Inc.
), earnings ESP of 3.33% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
AETNA INC-NEW (AET): Free Stock Analysis
CENTENE CORP (CNC): Free Stock Analysis
CNO FINL GRP (CNO): Free Stock Analysis
UNITEDHEALTH GP (UNH): Free Stock Analysis
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), earnings ESP of 2.2% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
), earnings ESP of 3.66% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).