Equities research analysts at Stephens began coverage on shares of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) in a research note issued to investors on Monday, The Fly reports. The brokerage set an “overweight” rating on the healthcare conglomerate’s stock.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on UNH. ValuEngine raised UnitedHealth Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Raymond James upped their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $285.00 to $304.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Monday, September 24th. Oppenheimer upped their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $295.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. Zacks Investment Research cut UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 18th. Finally, Bank of America upped their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $315.00 to $320.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $294.20.

Shares of UNH stock opened at $247.67 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $234.39 billion, a PE ratio of 24.59, a P/E/G ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a quick ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. UnitedHealth Group has a 52-week low of $208.48 and a 52-week high of $287.94.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 16th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.30 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $56.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $56.34 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 23.62% and a net margin of 5.71%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.66 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that UnitedHealth Group will post 12.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other UnitedHealth Group news, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 163 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $274.83, for a total transaction of $44,797.29. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Richard T. Burke sold 6,090 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $281.72, for a total value of $1,715,674.80. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,711,584 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $482,187,444.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.87% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in UNH. Capital International Investors raised its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 223.0% during the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 16,319,843 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $4,341,731,000 after acquiring an additional 11,267,910 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 5.1% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 61,622,355 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $15,118,428,000 after purchasing an additional 2,981,233 shares in the last quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group grew its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 26,088.2% in the third quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 1,723,185 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $6,477,000 after purchasing an additional 1,716,605 shares in the last quarter. Vontobel Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $404,980,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc grew its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 1.6% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 69,342,549 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $18,447,892,000 after purchasing an additional 1,073,505 shares in the last quarter. 85.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

UnitedHealth Group Company Profile

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health care company in the United States. It operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight, and OptumRx. The UnitedHealthcare segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services for national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; health care coverage, and health and well-being services to individuals age 50 and older, addressing their needs for preventive and acute health care services, as well as services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals; and Medicaid plans, Children's Health Insurance Program, and health care programs; and health and dental benefits.

Further Reading: Leveraged Buyout (LBO)

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Analyst Recommendations for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

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