Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) have been given a consensus rating of “Buy” by the twenty-five ratings firms that are presently covering the firm. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and twenty-one have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $160.90.

UNH has been the subject of several analyst reports. Leerink Swann reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Sunday, August 21st. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $178.00 target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. Cowen and Company set a $150.00 target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, Evercore ISI initiated coverage on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $155.00 target price for the company.

In related news, Director Richard T. Burke sold 40,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.31, for a total transaction of $5,412,400.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 2,003,550 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $271,100,350.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 325 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.99, for a total value of $47,121.75. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 28,613 shares in the company, valued at $4,148,598.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.65% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of UNH. Coconut Grove Bank raised its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 19.5% in the third quarter. Coconut Grove Bank now owns 736 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Van Hulzen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in UnitedHealth Group during the second quarter valued at about $104,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 36.9% in the third quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 742 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. purchased a new stake in UnitedHealth Group during the third quarter valued at about $111,000. Finally, Archford Capital Strategies LLC raised its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 669.2% in the second quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 800 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 696 shares in the last quarter. 84.92% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Shares of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) traded up 1.16% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $158.79. The stock had a trading volume of 3,185,621 shares. The firm has a market cap of $151.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.45 and a beta of 0.63. UnitedHealth Group has a one year low of $107.51 and a one year high of $159.76. The company has a 50-day moving average of $143.81 and a 200 day moving average of $139.88.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 18th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $2.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.08 by $0.09. The business earned $46.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $46.09 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 19.92% and a net margin of 3.62%. The business’s revenue was up 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.77 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that UnitedHealth Group will post $8.01 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 2nd will be given a $0.625 dividend. This represents a $2.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.59%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 30th. UnitedHealth Group’s payout ratio is 36.93%.

About UnitedHealth Group

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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