UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed the most recent trading day at $276.85, moving -0.61% from the previous trading session. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.15%. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.32%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.42%.
Coming into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had gained 1.43% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector gained 1.8%, while the S&P 500 lost 1.1%.
Investors will be hoping for strength from UNH as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 15, 2019. In that report, analysts expect UNH to post earnings of $3.22 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 24.32%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $57.94 billion, up 11.29% from the prior-year quarter.
For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $12.81 per share and revenue of $225.63 billion, which would represent changes of +27.21% and +12.17%, respectively, from the prior year.
Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for UNH. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.
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 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. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.05% higher. UNH is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Looking at its valuation, UNH is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 21.75. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 20.96, 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 1.6. 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 1.4 as of yesterday's close.
The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 88, putting it in the top 34% 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.
To follow UNH in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.