Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 3,886,779 shares traded hands during mid-day 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.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on UNH shares. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Friday, June 10th. Leerink Swann reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Friday, June 10th. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Wednesday, May 18th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $153.00 price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Tuesday, May 17th. Finally, Mizuho lifted their price objective on UnitedHealth Group from $156.00 to $160.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $153.44.

The company has a market cap of $130.12 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.38. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $141.74 and a 200-day moving average of $132.83.

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

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 9th will be given a $0.625 dividend. This represents a $2.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.83%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 6th.

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

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of UNH. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,108,013 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $365,706,000 after buying an additional 92,985 shares in the last quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp increased 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 valued at $1,850,000 after buying an additional 2,978 shares in the last quarter. Cedar Hill Associates LLC increased 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 valued at $13,918,000 after buying an additional 2,086 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,825,116 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $332,347,000 after buying an additional 88,802 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Redwood Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 25.0% in the fourth quarter. Redwood Investments LLC now owns 171,326 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $20,155,000 after buying an additional 34,263 shares in the last quarter.

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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