UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Leerink Swann in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

UNH has been the subject of a number of other reports. Vetr upgraded shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 7th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $163.00 price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Tuesday, October 4th. Cowen and Company set a $150.00 price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $155.00 price target for the company. Finally, Mizuho lifted their price target on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $160.00 to $169.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $158.03.

Analyst Recommendations for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) opened at 152.26 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $144.92 billion, a PE ratio of 22.49 and a beta of 0.63. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $142.32 and its 200-day moving average price is $139.36. UnitedHealth Group has a 1-year low of $107.51 and a 1-year high of $153.96.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 13th. Investors of record on Friday, December 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.625 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 30th. This represents a $2.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.64%. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 36.93%.

In related news, EVP D Ellen Wilson sold 14,365 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.18, for a total transaction of $2,071,145.70. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 66,635 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,607,434.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 325 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $144.99, for a total transaction of $47,121.75. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 28,613 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,148,598.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.65% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in UNH. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 2.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 57,213,923 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $8,078,605,000 after buying an additional 1,123,084 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 1.0% in the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,616,604 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $5,826,325,000 after buying an additional 401,303 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 0.3% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 33,287,271 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $4,660,218,000 after buying an additional 108,513 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors raised its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 0.5% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 29,118,588 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $4,111,545,000 after buying an additional 147,410 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 2.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 26,506,549 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $3,710,917,000 after buying an additional 600,139 shares in the last quarter. 86.04% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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