Press coverage about UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) has been trending very positive on Friday, according to InfoTrie. The research group identifies positive and negative news coverage by reviewing more than 6,000 news and blog sources in real time. The firm ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative five to five, with scores closest to five being the most favorable. UnitedHealth Group earned a media sentiment score of 3.25 on their scale. InfoTrie also gave headlines about the healthcare conglomerate an news buzz score of 10 out of 10, meaning that recent news coverage is extremely likely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

Here are some of the news stories that may have impacted UnitedHealth Group’s analysis:

NYSE:UNH opened at $282.00 on Friday. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $261.20 and its 200 day moving average price is $245.94. UnitedHealth Group has a 1-year low of $208.07 and a 1-year high of $283.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.70. The firm has a market cap of $264.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.64.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 15th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.75 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $60.35 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $59.84 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 5.57% and a return on equity of 25.30%. UnitedHealth Group’s revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $3.41 EPS. As a group, analysts expect that UnitedHealth Group will post 14.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 17th. Investors of record on Monday, December 9th will be issued a dividend of $1.08 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 6th. This represents a $4.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.53%. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.54%.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $288.00 to $318.00 and gave the stock an “in-line” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $300.00 price target (up previously from $270.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research report on Tuesday, November 26th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of UnitedHealth Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $312.00 price target (up previously from $294.00) on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Friday, November 22nd. Finally, UBS Group lifted their price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group from $257.00 to $279.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. UnitedHealth Group currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $299.35.

In related news, CAO Thomas E. Roos sold 1,177 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $255.04, for a total transaction of $300,182.08. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 21,687 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,531,052.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP D Ellen Wilson sold 7,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $272.77, for a total value of $2,018,498.00. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 38,577 shares of company stock valued at $9,398,080. 0.82% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About UnitedHealth Group

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 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.

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