Investing

Earnings Previews: Citigroup, UnitedHealth, US Bancorp, Wells Fargo

UnitedHealth

The country’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), has posted a share price increase of about 26.5% over the past 12 months. Since a recent low in mid-June, the shares have added about 13.8% as investors have sought refuge from inflation in health care stocks generally. Over the past 12 months, the health care sector has traded essentially unchanged, while the S&P 500 is down 12.6%. UnitedHealth’s 12-month share price increase trails only Chevron among the Dow stocks.

Analysts remain strongly bullish on the stock, with 21 of 24 assigning a rating of Buy or Strong Buy and four more rating the shares at Hold. At a share price of around $514.40, the upside potential based on a median price target of $578.50 is about 12.5%%. At the high target of $632.00, the upside potential is 22.9%.

The consensus estimate for second-quarter revenue is  $79.68 billion, down 0.6% sequentially but up by 11.7% year over year. Adjusted EPS are tabbed at $5.21, down 5.1% sequentially and up about 9.8% year over year. For full fiscal 2022, analysts are forecasting EPS of $21.69, up 14.1%, on revenue of $320.46 billion, up 11.4%.

UnitedHealth stock trades at 23.7 times expected 2022 EPS, 20.8 times estimated 2023 earnings of $24.77 and 18.2 times estimated 2024 earnings of $28.25 per share. The stock’s 52-week range is $383.12 to $553.29. UnitedHealth pays an annual dividend of $5.80 (yield of 1.28%). Total shareholder return for the past 12 months was 25.3%.

U.S. Bancorp

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is the country’s largest regional bank (seventh-largest overall) and operates more than 2,200 locations in the West and Midwest. The bank’s share price has dropped by more than 16% over the past 12 months and the stock posted its 52-week low a month ago.

U.S. Bancorp stock is among the 10 largest holdings in Warren Buffett’s portfolio, one of three financial services companies in the group. Bank of America and American Express are the other two, ranking second and third behind Apple as the portfolio’s largest holdings.

Analysts have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, with 14 of 24 giving the stock a Hold rating with another nine assigning Buy or Strong Buy ratings. At a share price of around $46.20, the upside potential based on a median price target of $55.50 is 20.1%. At the high target of $66.00, the upside potential is 42.9%.

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