UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of June. As of June 15th, there was short interest totalling 7,682,400 shares, a growth of 5.9% from the May 15th total of 7,254,200 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 5,460,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.4 days. Approximately 0.8% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In related news, Director Richard T. Burke sold 10,000 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $229.75, for a total value of $2,297,500.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 187,663 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $43,115,574.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Frederick William Mcnabb III acquired 6,430 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $233.21 per share, for a total transaction of $1,499,540.30. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 7,879 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,837,461.59. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 35,000 shares of company stock worth $8,392,500 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Tlwm purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group during the second quarter worth about $495,000. 6 Meridian boosted its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 24,791 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $6,049,000 after acquiring an additional 67 shares during the last quarter. Altman Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in UnitedHealth Group in the second quarter valued at about $2,012,000. Country Club Trust Company n.a. lifted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Country Club Trust Company n.a. now owns 2,535 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $618,000 after buying an additional 53 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lincoln Capital Corp lifted its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 122.0% during the 2nd quarter. Lincoln Capital Corp now owns 8,130 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $1,984,000 after buying an additional 4,468 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.62% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:UNH opened at $265.90 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $246.51. The company has a market capitalization of $252.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.61, a PEG ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.61. UnitedHealth Group has a one year low of $208.07 and a one year high of $287.94.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, April 16th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $3.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $3.60 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $60.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $59.72 billion. UnitedHealth Group had a net margin of 5.45% and a return on equity of 25.07%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $3.04 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts predict that UnitedHealth Group will post 14.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, June 25th. Investors of record on Monday, June 17th were issued a dividend of $1.08 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 14th. This is a boost from UnitedHealth Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.90. This represents a $4.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.62%. UnitedHealth Group’s payout ratio is 33.54%.

UNH has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. SunTrust Banks cut their target price on shares of UnitedHealth Group to $300.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group set a $36.00 target price on shares of Halliburton and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of HENGAN INTL GRP/ADR from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 21st. Citigroup reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Healthequity in a report on Friday, May 10th. Finally, Raymond James set a $8.00 price target on shares of Superior Energy Services and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, eighteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. UnitedHealth Group has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $291.53.

UnitedHealth Group Company Profile

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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