UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Earning Somewhat Positive News Coverage, Analysis Shows

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News coverage about UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) has trended somewhat positive this week, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research firm ranks the sentiment of news coverage by monitoring more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. UnitedHealth Group earned a coverage optimism score of 0.20 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media stories about the healthcare conglomerate an impact score of 46.7620202175018 out of 100, meaning that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the near term.

These are some of the news articles that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

Shares of UNH traded down $0.77 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $262.33. The stock had a trading volume of 1,923,738 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,162,052. UnitedHealth Group has a twelve month low of $186.00 and a twelve month high of $264.30. The company has a market capitalization of $250.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.05, a P/E/G ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.75 and a quick ratio of 0.75.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 17th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.04 by $0.10. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 22.79% and a net margin of 5.55%. The firm had revenue of $56.09 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $56.10 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.46 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that UnitedHealth Group will post 12.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 18th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 7th will be paid a $0.90 dividend. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 6th. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio is 35.75%.

UnitedHealth Group announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, June 6th that permits the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the healthcare conglomerate to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on UNH shares. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on UnitedHealth Group from $282.00 to $284.00 and gave the stock a “$255.42” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Citigroup raised their price objective on UnitedHealth Group from $275.00 to $288.00 and gave the stock a “$255.42” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on UnitedHealth Group from $277.00 to $278.00 and gave the stock a “$255.42” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $277.00 price objective on shares of UnitedHealth Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 17th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised UnitedHealth Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $287.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Sunday, July 15th. Twenty-two research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $271.14.

In other UnitedHealth Group news, Director William C. Ballard, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $258.83, for a total value of $2,588,300.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 77,172 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,974,428.76. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Kenneth Irwin Shine sold 177 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $255.72, for a total value of $45,262.44. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 29,053 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,429,433.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 59,829 shares of company stock worth $15,190,129 in the last three months. Company insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

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 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.

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