What to Look For When UnitedHealth Reports on Tuesday Morning

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UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) is scheduled to report its third-quarter financial results before the markets open on Tuesday. Thomson Reuters consensus estimates call for $3.29 in earnings per share (EPS) and $56.34 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, the company said it had EPS of $2.66 and $50.32 billion in revenue.

In the second quarter, UnitedHealthcare grew to serve 2.2 million more consumers year over year, with revenues growing by $5.1 billion, or 12.4%, to $45.8 billion. Revenue growth was driven by an increasing number of people served, a higher revenue membership mix and pricing increases to cover expected medical cost trends. Second-quarter 2018 earnings from operations grew 6.6% to $2.4 billion.

Based on first-half 2018 results and the business outlook for the balance of the year, the company raised its full-year guidance in the prior quarter. The company expected to see 2018 EPS in a range of $12.50 to $12.75 per share and cash flows from operations to approach $15.5 billion. The current consensus estimates call for $12.70 in EPS and $225.31 billion in revenue for the year.

UnitedHealth has outperformed the broad markets, with its shares up about 34% in the past 52 weeks. In just 2018 alone, the stock is up closer to 18%.

A few analysts weighed in on UnitedHealth ahead of the report:

  • Barclays has an Overweight rating and a $280 price target.
  • Jefferies has a Buy rating with a $311 price target.
  • Raymond James has a Strong Buy rating with a $304 target.
  • Cowen has an Outperform rating with a $308 price target.
  • Citigroup has a Neutral rating with a $288 price target.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating and a $305 target.

Shares of UnitedHealth were last seen at $261.53 on Monday, with a consensus analyst price target of $293.62 and a 52-week trading range of $191.36 to $272.07.

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