UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed at $246.24 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.11% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.12%. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 0.33%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 0.08%.
Coming into today, shares of the largest U.S. health insurer had lost 12.95% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector lost 6.93%, while the S&P 500 lost 6.96%.
Investors will be hoping for strength from UNH as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 15, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $3.22, up 24.32% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $57.94 billion, up 11.29% from the year-ago period.
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. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. 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. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.
Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.09% higher. UNH is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Digging into valuation, UNH currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 19.2. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 17.93, 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 1.42. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. The Medical - HMOs was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.27 at yesterday's closing price.
The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 66, putting it in the top 26% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.
Make sure to utilize Zacks. Com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.