Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 3,886,779 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 78% from the previous session’s volume of 2,177,589 shares.The stock last traded at $137.30 and had previously closed at $139.87.

UNH has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $161.00 price objective (up from $145.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Friday, July 22nd. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “buy” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 18th. Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Wednesday, May 18th. Leerink Swann restated an “outperform” rating and set a $165.00 price objective (up from $155.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Finally, Wedbush restated an “outperform” rating and set a $165.00 price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $153.44.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $141.85 and its 200 day moving average price is $132.64. The company has a market cap of $130.76 billion and a PE ratio of 21.49.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $1.96 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.89 by $0.07. The company earned $46.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $45.05 billion. Equities research analysts expect that UnitedHealth Group Inc. will post $7.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 9th will be paid a $0.625 dividend. This represents a $2.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.82%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 6th.

In related news, Director William C. Ballard, Jr. sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $138.58, for a total transaction of $692,900.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 72,229 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,009,494.82. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 5,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $139.80, for a total transaction of $768,900.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 59,019 shares in the company, valued at $8,250,856.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds have made changes to their positions in the company. Cedar Hill Associates LLC boosted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Cedar Hill Associates LLC now owns 118,311 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $13,918,000 after buying an additional 2,086 shares during the last quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp boosted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 23.4% in the fourth quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp now owns 15,723 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $1,850,000 after buying an additional 2,978 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 454,179 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $53,429,000 after buying an additional 3,479 shares during the last quarter. Montag A & Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 52.6% in the fourth quarter. Montag A & Associates Inc. now owns 21,570 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $2,537,000 after buying an additional 7,435 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Airain ltd acquired a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $2,209,000.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is a diversified healthcare company. The Company operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx. The Company conducts its operations through two business platforms: health benefits operating under UnitedHealthcare and health services operating under Optum.

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